7:23 AM ET
THE CLOSET INSIDE Buzz Williams’ office at the Bradley Center was, at most, 5 feet deep. He thinks it had a chair or a small couch inside. He’s pretty sure there was a light. But he’s not sure it would’ve mattered to Jimmy Butler either way.
Butler just needed a space to focus before games. To shut the world out. Minimize distractions. Get his mind right. So after shootaround, until the game, every game in his three seasons at Marquette, that’s where Butler would go.
“I never eat the day of a game,” Williams said. “So after shootaround I go in my office, watch tape, go over my charts. Just normal coach stuff.
“One day Jimmy comes in and says, ‘Hey, Coach, you think I can sit in here?’ He’s standing at my door, and he’s pointing at the closet. And I was like, ‘Yeah, you can sit in there. That’s the closet. Why don’t you go sit in the locker room?’
“He was like, ‘No. If it’s OK, I’m going to go sit in here.'”
Williams and Butler didn’t know each other well at that point, but they had the unspoken bond of two men