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Jimmy Butler Reveals his Pregame Meal, and It's Definitely not Deep Dish

 Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler speaks to local high school students downtown for National Breakfast Week. 
Jimmy Butler at National Breakfast Week
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CHICAGO — Like his Chicago Bulls teammate Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler doesn't eat deep-dish pizza. 

But unlike Gasol, the Bulls' $95 million man has a good reason: He's lactose-intolerant. 

"Pizza doesn't go well with me," Butler said. 

The Bulls star dished on his pregame meal, his favorite moment since entering the NBA, and why he likes staring contests in an interview during a Downtown appearance Wednesday for National Breakfast Week.

It's Butler's second time at the Kellogg's event, where he played some pickup ball with local high school students at the Lakeshore Athletic Club, 211 N. Stetson Ave. 

"I was a kid once; I probably still act like a kid now," Butler told the students Wednesday. "Y'all are so important, you’re the future of everything, [and] I want you to be in my position in a couple years."

For the record, Butler said his favorite cereal is Frosted Flakes. Here are edited excerpts from DNAinfo Chicago's interview with Butler: 

How do you feel? How’s your knee?

Butler: It’s good. I don’t know how good, but I feel good right now, good enough to come out here and watch [these students] play some basketball.

What do you eat before a game?

It depends. I'm from the South, so I’ll eat cereal, but then after shootaround, before the game I’ll eat some pancakes or some grits.

Before the game it’s normally Chipotle, truthfully.

What’s your favorite hangout in the city? 

Me? At home. I think, as you can see behind me, I always keep my brother with me, my trainer — we’re at the house a lot of the time. I go out sometimes, but I can’t say I have a truly favorite spot.

What do you do in your free time?

Play dominos, anything to compete away from basketball: dominos, cards, staring contest, whatever. I’m a competitor, and basketball is not the only thing I like to compete in.

Your friend Pau Gasol said he doesn’t like deep dish pizza. Do you? 

I’m lactose-intolerant, so pizza doesn’t go well with me. I can’t go with all the cheese.

Who’s your best friend on the team? 

Everybody. You’re not going to get me in trouble. [laughs]

What’s your favorite moment since entering the NBA? 

It’s changed over the years, but I think right now [it's] just seeing how much love Kobe [Bryant] got in every arena. I hope I change the game that much to where everybody has so much respect for me.

What do you think of the "Jimmy Buckets" nickname? 

It is what it is. People really expect that from me. If they call me that, I gotta continue to put the ball in the basket.

What’s your outlook for the team this year? You've got 20 games left.

Win as many of these 20 as we can to put us in the best position in the playoffs. String 'em together so you can get in a rhythm. Winning takes care of everything, so hopefully we continue that.

Any new commercials or endorsements Bulls fans can look forward to? 

I don’t know. Whenever y’all see it, everybody will find out. Maybe I got a few things up my sleeve.

Are you buying a Wahlburgers franchise (the quickly growing burger chain led by Butler's friend Mark Wahlberg)? 

Probably not. Do I love Wahlburgers? Yeah. Do I support my guy? Yeah. But that’s a business deal for later on.

Violence is up in Chicago and making headlines, with Tyshawn Lee’s alleged killer arrested yesterday. What do you have to say about that to kids growing up in Chicago neighborhoods plagued by violence? 

I don’t ever think violence is the answer. There’s other ways to solve things, obviously — just have love for everybody, that’s the way I look at it. Sit down and talk it out.

When me and my brothers fight in the house, we’ll sit down, we’ll argue, we’re gonna compete ... [but] if we’re gonna have an argument over something, we'll settle it over a game of cards.


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