After a breakout season that saw him make the All-Star team and win Most Improved Player, Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler was rewarded with a five-year, $95 million contract.
And Butler, literally, has no intentions of looking back.
Butler's rise has been a storied one. Butler came from a rough background in which he grew up without his father, was kicked out of his mother's house, played a year in junior college before transferring to Marquette, and didn't get drafted until the 30th pick in 2011. Now, he's a max. contract player in the NBA.
Questions about driving safety aside, Butler actually has some pretty good reasoning.
"It's because I don't ever want that to define me," he told Smith. "I hated it whenever it came up because that's all anybody ever wanted to talk about. Like, that hasn't gotten me to where I am today. I'm a great basketball player because of my work. I'm a good basketball player because of the people I have around me. And if I continue to be stuck in the past, then I won't get any better. I won't change, I'll get stuck as that kid."
"That's not who I am," Butler continued. "I'm so far ahead of that. I don't hold grudges. I still talk to my family. My mom. My father. We love each other. That's never going to change."
Butler was the winner of one of the greatest gambles in recent memory in the NBA. Butler, at the time a high-end role player, turned down a four-year, $40 million contract extension from the Bulls last season, gambling that he'd out-play it. His new $95 million deal proves that he obviously did.
So, as long as Butler is still using his side mirrors for safety purposes, he can be forgiven for not wanting to look backward.
Chicago Bulls player who signed a $95 million contract removed the rearview mirror in his car so that he can't look 'back'
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 27: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a free throw against the Miami Heat on January 27, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: Jimmy Butler #33 of the Marquette Golden Eagles takes a foul shot during a quarterfinal Big East Conferance Tournament college basketball game against the Villanova Wildcats at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2009 in New York, New York. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Marquette University's Jimmy Butler reaches out for a loose ball during the first half of their second round NCAA basketball game against Xavier University in Cleveland, March 18, 2011. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
DEERFIELD, IL - DECEMBER 11: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls poses for a portrait during 2011 NBA Media Day on December 11, 2011 at the Berto Center in Deerfield, IL. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks shooting guard O.J. Mayo (32) fouls Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler (21) during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Chicago, Illinois, November 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler (top) falls over Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo as they compete for the ball in the second half of their NBA basketball game at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is guarded by Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler (21) in the second half during Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final basketball playoff in Miami, Florida May 6, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Dec 19, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler (21) shoots the ball while defended by Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Jeremy Lamb (11) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler (21) shoots the ball past Brooklyn Nets small forward Joe Johnson (7) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) takes a shot against Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson (31) in the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 12, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Eastern Conference guard Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls (21) is interviewed during media day for the 2016 NBA All Star Game at Sheraton Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler represents his team during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Preliminary - Men's Preliminary Round Group A USA v Serbia - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 12/08/2016. Jimmy Butler (USA) of the USA before the game. REUTERS/Marko Djurica FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Final - Men's Victory Ceremony - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 21/8/2016. Harrison Barnes (USA) of the USA takes a selfie with Jimmy Butler (USA) of the USA, Kevin Durant (USA) of the USA and Draymond Green (USA) of the USA. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
Nov 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) and guard Rajon Rondo (9) celebrate during the second half of the game against the Orlando Magic at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) dunks the ball on a pass from guard Dwyane Wade (not pictured) against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports