Jimmy Butler wants to sing national anthem

January, 6, 2014
Jan 6
11:54
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler says he would like to sing the national anthem before a game in the future. His declaration came Saturday after serving as the Bulls' DJ in the locker room following a victory against the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center.

Teammate Nazr Mohammed even posted to Instagram a video of Butler dancing to Miley Cyrus. When the topic of whether he could actually sing came up after Monday's practice, Butler was incredulous.

[+] EnlargeJimmy Butler
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh"Can I sing? Can I sing?" Jimmy Butler responded to a query Monday after practice. We may see, as the Bulls shooting guard wishes to perform the national anthem before a future game.

"Can I sing?" Butler repeated. "Can I sing? Can I sing?"

After a few moments, it popped out that Butler would like to play to a wider audience of more than just his teammates.

"I don't sing for free," he said. "When ya'll book me for the United Center and I sell it out, then ya'll can come watch me sing.

"They need to let me sing the anthem one of these games. I'll give y'all a little preview. It can't be cold outside, though."

Despite some prodding, Butler didn't give the media a rendition. But he did sound serious about performing the anthem at some point. It's not an unrealistic goal to have.

Athletes have performed the national anthem before past games. Former NBA player Jerry Stackhouse has sung the anthem, most recently before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, when as a member of the Brooklyn Nets he played against Butler's Bulls.

"I do want to sing it," Butler said. "I feel like the fans would love it."

Butler said he may even get some help from teammate Joakim Noah.

"What if I play my guitar?" Butler said. "Me and Jo talk about that all the time. Jo thinks he can sing better than I can, so maybe he'll be out there with me."

Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer admits that Butler has some talent, but he isn't sure his young teammate is ready for the big stage.

"I don't know if he's that good," Boozer said. "I have to pay more attention the next time I hear him singing. He might be. We got to get him out there in practice and see how it goes.

"I don't see Jo doing it. I see Jimmy doing it. We'll see what happens."

Boozer said Butler is the best singer on the team.

"These are guys," Boozer said. "We're guys. We don't go around singing. We're not R&B singers here. But at the same time, Jimmy is one of those guys that goes around singing. So I would give it to him hands down."

It's an assessment with which Butler clearly agrees.

"I just feel like I'm the best singer," Butler said. "The Temptations wanted me; I was like, 'No, no, no, no, no.' I can dance. I got all of that."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5