CLEVELAND – Jimmy Butler already has All-Star status on his resume.
According to teammate Derrick Rose, however, if Butler wants to make that jump to that superstar status area code, well, it’s there for the taking in this series and Butler’s showdown with LeBron James.
“I mean it’s going to take some time,’’ Rose said of Butler making that next step. “This is the matchup right here that can definitely build his confidence being a superstar player. He’s playing against a player that is extremely talented [in James]. He puts so much pressure on the defense, just with him having the ball. Jimmy, he’s got to take that challenge. I think that last game he showed up. I think he did a great job with getting bodies in front of him.
“I think it’s going to take a little minute for Jimmy to get there.’’
Since being drafted 30th overall in the 2011 draft, the idea all along was Butler would develop into that player that could someday be the James stopper – the KingSlayer.
At least in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal game, Butler might finally be living up to that hype.
If he can continue to do that throughout the series, as well as score in big moments like he did in the fourth quarter of Monday’s win, he may arrive.
As far as Rose, he was asked when he knew he earned that superstar title, and couldn’t quite pinpoint an exact time.
“Not really,’’ Rose said. “I didn’t really think about it. It was something that people just threw on me. All of a sudden I was an All-Star, and then all of a sudden I was, whatever you call it, a superstar. It takes a lot of time. And it takes a lot of focus and concentration.’’