Both players were selected in the 2011 draft, and it may have been because of how they pushed each other in workouts.
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“Me and Jimmy got into it probably every day working out in the summer in Sarasota,” Shumpert said. “Me and Jimmy was probably the most exciting s— to watch.”
Shumpert explained that in the process leading up to the draft, both players were unsure if they would be first-round picks, but after workouts they had cemented themselves in that territory.
“We went through our workouts, everybody was like, ‘Naw, they first-rounders,’” Shumpert said.
Shumpert ended up getting picked by the Knicks with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Butler had to wait a little longer for his name to be called. The now-Heat star was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the final pick of the first round (No. 30).
Both Shumpert and Butler succeeded in the NBA, and Butler is still a star with the Heat.
Shumpert won a title with the Cavaliers in the 2015-16 season, but he has not played in the NBA since the 2020-21 season when he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
Butler is arguably the best player from the 2011 class (some may say it is No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving or No. 11 overall pick Klay Thompson). The Heat star has put together quite the career for a player that nearly fell out of the first round of his draft class.
A six-time All-Star, Butler has shown just how great he is during his time in Miami. In four seasons with the Heat, Butler has taken the team to the NBA Finals twice and the Eastern Conference Finals three times.
In the 2022-23 season, Miami became just the second team in NBA history to make the NBA Finals as a No. 8 seed.
Looking back at the 2011 NBA Draft, it’s crazy to think that Butler fell as far as he did. However, landing in Chicago early in his career clearly helped create a path for him to become a star.
It’s cool to hear how he and Shumpert battled prior to getting in the NBA, especially since both players went on to succeed after not being as highly touted entering the draft.