OK, we know Jimmy Butler is a capitalist. We got a full dose of his willingness to wring every last buck out of a situation during the NBA’s Covid-19 bubble restart in Orlando in 2020, when Butler, while leading the Heat to the NBA Finals, turned his hotel room into a makeshift coffee shop, seeking to earn big money on the back of the league’s quarantine situation.
Butler had an espresso machine, some beans from El Salvador and an eagerness to separate his NBA brethren from their wads.
Butler called his brand, “Big Face Coffee,” because he hoped his change-strapped fellow players would pay in $100 bills—i.e., big-face bills. That did not happen but Butler still charged his fellow players $20 for a cup of coffee.
“All I could think about was how I could hustle these guys out of their cash,” Butler told Thrillist in 2022. “I knew people had cash and no one was using it because of Covid, so I decided to take cash.”
Now, Butler is back with another way of squeezing out some extra cash from a situation, this time his annual summer camp, which will be held August 26-27 in Fort Lauderdale. As Heat broadcast reporter Will Manso noted on Twitter, “Jimmy Butler is not only having a basketball/cheerleading camp for kids 7-18 on August 26-27 in Fort Lauderdale, but you can also pay to play 1-on-1 against him.”
Yep, campers pay a $349 sign-up fee, but players or their parents also had the opportunity to pay an extra $699 for a special bonus: a 1-on-1 matchup against Butler.
$699 for a Game vs. a Hall of Famer?
Now, Butler is a six-time All-Star who is probably heading to the Basketball Hall of Fame when his career is over and, in that context, $699 is not a bad deal for a game of 1-on-1.
Those who sign up will also get an individual photo with Butler, the ability to download photos from the event, and an unidentified “autographed keepsake.” The event is sold out and was, apparently, limited to three campers/parents over the course of an hour.
Butler also offered a “skills challenge” as well, for $349, and lunch with Butler runs just $499.
But Celebrity Sports Academy, which hosts Butler’s clinic, has a similar setup for its other athletes, which include Anfernee Simons and Andre Drummond of the NBA. A 1-on-1 matchup with Simons runs $349 and it’s just $299 to go up against Drummond.
Butler Will Have Made More Than $300 Million in the NBA
Butler is not exactly hurting for cash. He has earned more than $180 million in salary in his NBA career, and is set to make $45 million this season. He is signed for two more years after this one, at $48.8 million and $52.2 million.
According to Hoopshype.com, Butler will be the 11th-highest paid player in the NBA this year, and will be 10th in 2024-25. He will be 10th again in 2025-26.
He has also turned his coffee venture into a more legitimate business, “Bigface Brand.” Butler told CNBC’s Small Business Playbook this winter that he intended to be very involved in its operations.
“I want to be in every Zoom call, every meeting, on every sourcing trip, no matter where it is, anywhere around the world,” Butler said. “Just because I want to let people know, yes, my name is in it, on it, it’s a part of it, but I’m actually in it, I’m actually with it, I’m going to these places and I’m learning more and more every single day.”