So much swag: Jimmy Butler travels with wine case, belongs to secret NBA wine club

We've heard of Jimmy Vivino, but Jimmy Butler <3s vino?!

We've heard of Jimmy Vivino, but Jimmy Butler <3s vino?! Bill Hogan; Andy King/AP

Maybe Jimmy Buckets should start going by Jimmy Bottles.  

It'd be an apropos rebrand for Jimmy Butler, the Timberwolves superstar and apparent oenophile, since ESPN just outed him as a member of the NBA's "secret wine society."

Posted Tuesday, the ESPN the Magazine feature takes a deep dive into professional basketball's wine culture. Star players are growing bored with traditional status symbols, actress Gabrielle Union tells ESPN, so instead they're exploring the intricacies of high-end vino.

"Nobody talks about cars or jewelry," reports Union, who's married to hoopster/wine connoisseur Dwyane Wade. "It's who can bring the best bottle of wine."

Butler is mentioned just briefly, but it's a buttery anecdote with major hints of swag: 

Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler travels with a wine case, one he toted to the 2016 Rio Olympics, bringing along bottles of pinot noir.

Goddamn -- so much swag! 

The article describes Timberwolf alum Kevin Love as a savvy wine-head, too, though he's quick to pass praise onto teammate LeBron James. When it comes to wine, "Bron has a supercomputer in his brain," Love says.

But back to Butler: Boasting a 750-bottle wine cellar, the 28-year-old's former Chicago mansion was certainly equipped for a man of his tastes. He sold the 10,000-square-foot River North pad at a slight loss last year; no word on whether he brought his 6,000-pound boombox aquarium to Minnesota.

Last fall Butler's teammate Cole Aldrich, a Burnsville native, joked that Jimmy's palate might not be sommelier-level quite yet.

Whatever Jimmy's drinking, it's working for him on the court: He's averaging 22.5 points, 5 assists, and 5.4 rebounds in his first half-season with the 35-24 T-Wolves. This Sunday, Butler and teammate Karl-Anthony Towns will represent the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game (7 p.m., TNT).

Cheers to you, Jimmy Bottles. We'll close out with Butler's BFF -- MOA hamburger magnate/actor Mark Wahlberg -- giving his pal a very boozy wine toast. 


My guy @markwahlberg told me it would be a big year! Thanks for the support brotha!

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