NBA: Ranking the top 20 players that impact the game in non-scoring roles

NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Chris Paul (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Chris Paul (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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NBA Miami Heat
NBA Miami Heat Jimmy Butler (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

11. Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat

People have called him a bully, arrogant, primadonna and a bad teammate, yet if you look at Jimmy Butler’s resume you see he’s a leader. He grew up with the Bulls, the team that drafted him. He was a rookie on a team that was a Derrick Rose injury from winning a championship in that era.

Butler had great vets to learn from who played hard and got at it on the defensive end of the floor. It wasn’t long before he was known as all the Bulls players who came before him, tough, strong and not afraid of anyone. When the Bulls made the decision to trade him to the Timberwolves, he went to a team that hadn’t been to the playoffs since the 2003-04 season.

Butler took the leadership role and Minnesota experienced a winning season for the first time since Kevin Garnett wore No. 21 for them the first time. At one point before Butler went down with an injury, Minnesota was No. 4 in the mighty West. With Butler’s injury, Minnesota slid down in the standings, still making it to the playoffs on the last night of the regular season.

The next season Butler demanded a trade and was sent to the 76ers, a team that was in need of a leader and a closer. The 76ers made it to the playoffs, losing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Raptors. In the offseason, people in the sports community said Butler was crazy for not resigning with Philadelphia. He ended up signing with the Heat, a team expected to be in the lottery. Miami has been one of the surprises this season, going 41-23, while the last three teams Butler played for are 74-106, with Philadelphia being the only team in the playoffs.

The young players in Miami have talked about Butler’s leadership and give him a lot of credit for there success this season. Not only is Butler a leader, but he is also one of the best defensive players in the NBA. He competes hard on the defensive end, contesting every shot. Hate him or love him Jimmy Butler brings a winning culture to every team he goes to.