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Jimmy Butler

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Topic: Jimmy Butler
Posted By: Stavros
Subject: Jimmy Butler
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 6:10am
I've just red the astonishing story of Jimmy Buttler.
He won the U.S. National Table Tennis Championship in 2014 ,21 years after his previous win!
At 44 years old, after 15 years away from the game (severe muscle problems), he had again become the best table tennis player in the United States, having  won the U.S. men’s singles championship, in 2014.
Amazing story.

Is he stil playing? Any news from USA?



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Replies:
Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 6:47am
Well done by him! But i think the story is kind of sad too. That he can win at that age with 15 years away from the game because of injuries is really sad and not good PR for American tabletennis i think. 

He has a nice backhand punch i think and seems to have good feeling but i do not think he seems to be so good, maybe he was the first time he won. But that he can win 2014 just show how terrible low the level of tabletennis is in United States. I would proably play a close game with him and would have good chances at winning and i barely play anymore since i do mostly part time coaching and i was not so successfull as a player either. 

I thought the level was much higher nowadays since there seem to be alot of asian coches living in the United States. Hopefully the level is much higher now. 

Regardless of the level in the US i do think it is really impressive by him to be able to come back and play so well after so many years without playing because of injuries. 


Posted By: mhnh007
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 7:16am
I don’t remember who play in US open 2014. But it’s fair to say that to win any US Open, you would need to be good enough to beat any top 100 WR fairly easy.


Posted By: passifid
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 7:18am
Top 100 wr would have a very good chance of winning the us open. The USA isn't a very strong county at a pro level


Posted By: passifid
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 7:22am
To put my comment into perspective Eugene Wang the recent winner has a wr of 178. He was previously 58 a few years ago mind


Posted By: mhnh007
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 7:30am
No you don’t have a good chance if you barely make the top 100. EW. when he actively plays, is in the middle of the top 100.


Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 8:00am
Is thought US Open and US Nationals was to different tournaments? feel that US Open would be harder to win. 

I do not think Butler is or ever was very close to top 100 in the world, but maybe im wrong. But i would agree that you proably need to be a pretty high level to win US Open. Maybe the competition was not so good when Butler won. I also think Eugene Wang seems to be a much better player. 

i do not want to talk negative about Butler, i think he is a pretty good player but i do not think he should win the US Nationals when he is so old, havent played in ages and seem to have problems with injuries. I also do not talk negative about tabletennis in the US, but it is something seriously wrong when he can win. It would be more okay if he won in his prime. 


Posted By: BH-Man
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 8:33am
Lula, 

That no-good Der_Echte from TTD sez you might be a tiny bit wrong on this one. (about Butler's former WR)

The same guy sez he agrees with your position that it is not very favorable for a TT nation to have such older players completely dominate the national TT championship.

This has been the case for many years in USA.

Still,, there are examples in Europe where this is so... and Der_Echte agrees with you.

Look at Belgium, Slovenia, Croatia, and your OWN COUNTRY for such examples...




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Posted By: BH-Man
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 8:40am
Khanak Jha, who play(s) (ed) professionally in Sweden, is WR 50ish and didn't make it to the finals this year. That might say something.

There are also MANY ex-pros retired from international comps, who may have beards so long they touch the floor, who if they choose to compete again, would defeat WR20 players.

Joo Se Hyuk is one of that class, even without the beard. Dude would crush any of those players in US Open.

Ditto for CWX if he payed in this one.


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Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 9:15am
yeah, i am not saying im correct! Everyone should have their own opinon. 

What was his best ranking? I still find it difficult to see him being in the top 100 but i might be wrong. But Dan semiller have been ranked pretty high? and i have also trouble seeing that. It is hard to judge fairly when you only see them on video. Butler do not look special, but i can imagine he was very safe in his prime. It looks like Semiller learned to play tabletennis in a garage or something but he was proably very nasty with that anti. 

I think all players that are not asian often start to play a little later so many peak after they are 30 years of age. So you are proably correct about that.

But i think it is hard to compare Waldner and Persson to Butler, because ther are proably some of the best players ever and did not have a break for several years. 

I understand that you could be older and still be pretty good, but still this guy if it is true did not play for over 15 years and seemed to have alot of problems with injuries. And he wins it!  I also not think he seemed to be that good nowdays, but it is hard judge watching videos only. Again, i do not consider Butler to be bad but i think there should be other better players in the US. 

It is good that the level seems to be higher this year! who won this year?  I think it should be higher level since alot of good asian coaches seems to move to the US so they would be able to develop good players. I also think that if these guys would compete themselves the level would be alot higher. 

I have understood that the tabletennis culture in the US is not very large, so it may not be so many organized practice groups with good coaches. I find it interesting how some Americans still become pretty good and have pretty good technique. Lika Dubina, Semiller, Butler, Khanak and proably other that i do not know of. Did they were lucky to have a good coach? or did they went to europe or asia? Or are they proof that you still can become very good depsite not having so good opportunities? 



Posted By: Purett
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 9:18am
i think it was the nationals that he won .not the open

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Posted By: larrytt
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 9:26am
No one here so far knows who Jim Butler is??? Okay, here's the rundown. 
  • 4-time U.S. Men's Singles Champion (1990, 1992, 1993, 2014) - at the Nationals, not the Open.
  • Former world #70
  • Rated in low 2700s for many years
  • Member of http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Table-Tennis/History/Hall-of-Fame/Profiles/Jim-Butler" rel="nofollow - USATT Hall of Fame
  • Defeated reigning World Men's Singles Champion Jan-Ove Waldner in a league match in Sweden
  • Circa 2010-2015 he played hardbat on the side, and became the top U.S. hardbat player.
When he won in 2014, it was before the rise of players like Kanak Jha and Yijun Feng, and at a time when the USA Men's Team was rather weak, even compared to today. It was still an amazing feat. 

At his peak, Jim had a great backhand smash, great blocking, great serves, and great ball control/touch/consistency - and probably did these specific things better than any current USA player. He could also fish down the best. He didn't really develop his backhand loop until relatively late in his career, when it became a pretty strong against pushes. He was weaker on the forehand side, but "2600" weak. He is also just a touch under 6'5" tall. 
-Larry Hodges


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Posted By: FruitLoop
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 9:48am
Sounds like Lula is correct, it was an amazing personal story for Butler but not a good advertisement for US TT. I think Kanahk Jha would prevent any similar story happening in the near future though. And there is a lot more potential kids coming through the US system. It was a lull in talent for them.


Posted By: pingpungpeng
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 10:47am
the tournament jimmy butler won is the US nationals, probably only for USA citizens.
US open is where they have all the foreign players, like rosskopf, fang bo, chen weixing, eugene wang, etc.
they are different tournaments.

kanak jha should be able to destroy jimmy butler today, and he (kanak) doesn't even play 1st bundesliga.
even when USA plays torunaments as a team like the panamerican games, I've never seen jimmy butler in one of those.
so I'm not sure he's seen as the best of USA.

he did play with waldner though!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ-7snNTYeM


Posted By: Lightspin
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:03am
I seem to recall Waldner was Swedish national champion at age 45.  What does that say about Swedish table tennis?  

The correct answer in my opinion is that Waldner is insanely talented and happened to be the best player that day in the competition.  Jimmy Butler was an incredible player, ranked 70th in the world when the rankings were a lot more accurate, who was sidelined by injuries for a long time.  I think he was also North American champion in his mid 40s as well. 

Older athletes are performing quite well these days.  Tom Brady, Kim Collins, lots of marathon runners from Kenya and Ethiopia, Vlady and some guy named Timo something or other to name a few.  He Zhiwen is also playing quite well at 56.  Just because an older athlete is successful, doesn't mean the other players are bad or an association is weak, it just means that athlete is just that good.     


Posted By: Lightspin
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:10am
Also for those of you who don't know who Dan Seemiller is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Seemiller

Super nice guy, very smart and awesome player.  If you don't want to read the link he was #19 in the world at one time. 


Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:15am
That is not good for swedish tabletennis either. I am not saying that you can not be good at an older age or that Butler were not very good in his prime. I still think some of you are missing that he was pretty old, had a break for 15 years and had proably alot of problem with his body since it seem like he stopped playing due to injuries. But if he played hard bat Maybe that could be considered practicing tabletennis.



Posted By: pgpg
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:20am
Originally posted by Lula Lula wrote:

That is not good for swedish tabletennis either. I am not saying that you can not be good at an older age or that Butler were not very good in his prime. I still think some of you are missing that he was pretty old, had a break for 15 years and had proably alot of problem with his body since it seem like he stopped playing due to injuries. But if he played hard bat Maybe that could be considered practicing tabletennis.


IIRC, similar discussion happened right after he won the Nationals with the same points of view expressed then: on one hand a great achievement for an older athlete, but on the other hand a sign that current crop of younger players are not that good yet.  Both are right, I think.


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Posted By: liulin04
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:29am
The topic is very misleading.  I clicked because I thought you were talking about the NBA star Jimmy Butler.  CLICKBAIT!

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Posted By: pingpungpeng
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:33am
Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:

I seem to recall Waldner was Swedish national champion at age 45.  What does that say about Swedish table tennis?  

The correct answer in my opinion is that Waldner is insanely talented and happened to be the best player that day in the competition.  Jimmy Butler was an incredible player, ranked 70th in the world when the rankings were a lot more accurate, who was sidelined by injuries for a long time.  I think he was also North American champion in his mid 40s as well. 

Older athletes are performing quite well these days.  Tom Brady, Kim Collins, lots of marathon runners from Kenya and Ethiopia, Vlady and some guy named Timo something or other to name a few.  He Zhiwen is also playing quite well at 56.  Just because an older athlete is successful, doesn't mean the other players are bad or an association is weak, it just means that athlete is just that good.     

not a fair comparison.
waldner is seen as one of the greatest players in history.
butler, did he ever participate in olympic games? world championships?


Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:37am
Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:

Also for those of you who don't know who Dan Seemiller is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Seemiller

Super nice guy, very smart and awesome player.  If you don't want to read the link he was #19 in the world at one time. 

I find it very impressive that he could become so good with such a strange technique. Shows that you do not need to have perfect technique. 

Was he number 19 in the world before or after you had to have two colors on the racket? 
It must have been very difficult to play against him when he was allowed to have two red rubbers. He is and was a good player but i doubt he would have reached the same success with rubbers with two colors. But maybe he kept on playing well even with two colors, but it must have been alot more difficult for him i think. 

I used to had a coach that played successfully at a very high level before with anti and two red rubbers, but he had a hard time when the two color rule came. 


Posted By: Lightspin
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:47am
https://www.teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis/athletes/Jimmy-Butler

https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Table-Tennis/History/Hall-of-Fame/Profiles/Jim-Butler

In the Olympics in 1992 and 1996.  Played in the world championships numerous times.  Led the USA to a bronze in the World Team Cup in 1995. 


Posted By: larrytt
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:47am
Originally posted by pingpungpeng pingpungpeng wrote:

Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:

I seem to recall Waldner was Swedish national champion at age 45.  What does that say about Swedish table tennis?  

The correct answer in my opinion is that Waldner is insanely talented and happened to be the best player that day in the competition.  Jimmy Butler was an incredible player, ranked 70th in the world when the rankings were a lot more accurate, who was sidelined by injuries for a long time.  I think he was also North American champion in his mid 40s as well. 

Older athletes are performing quite well these days.  Tom Brady, Kim Collins, lots of marathon runners from Kenya and Ethiopia, Vlady and some guy named Timo something or other to name a few.  He Zhiwen is also playing quite well at 56.  Just because an older athlete is successful, doesn't mean the other players are bad or an association is weak, it just means that athlete is just that good.     

not a fair comparison.
waldner is seen as one of the greatest players in history.
butler, did he ever participate in olympic games? world championships?
A big yes to both. Jim Butler was on the U.S. Olympic Team in 1992 and 1996, and was on the USA Team at the Worlds throughout the 1990s. He was also on the U.S. Men's Team (Butler, Cheng Yinghua, David Zhuang) that shocked the world by making it to the semifinals at the 1995 World Team Cup. Jim was named the tournament MVP, though that was controversial as Cheng actually had a slightly better record (including a win over world #1 Waldner), and many thought they should have been co-MVPs. But they both knocked off a whole series of top world-class players, as did Zhuang. 
-Larry Hodges


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Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com


Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 12:28pm
Okey! That was impressive! 

I think he would look better when he used to be so good, but then again he had a break for 15 years. And maybe he do not play so fancy with crazy hard loops and stuff so it do not look so impressive. He seems to be very safe and i do like his backhand punch. I think waldner was pretty good at the backhand punch to be i feel it is a little forgotten in todays tabletennis so it is nice to see that Butler use is so effective. I think it would be a pretty good shot with the new ball. 

I have nothing personal against Butler, so i hope he do not get offended if he see this thread Smile I saw a short interview and he seems to be a nice guy. 

Anyone know what he did during the 15 years break? still in tabletennis as a coach or not at all in the tabletennis world? 


Posted By: passifid
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 1:11pm
Yeah he is amazing for doing it, and i'm glad that its such a great event for him, never doubting that.
But when I talk about USA top pro level I only mean current. Not past. 

Butler was awesome ITTF 70 is better than i'd ever have a chance at even if i played only tt 8 hours a day for the rest of my life, but he isn't that guy now.
I also agree that Kanak should be a good shout against all but maybe saying that top 100wr would be beaten easy might be a bit wrong. I'd have Drinkhall above kanak currently (biased though) and he is 110 and definitely beat butler.


Posted By: mycuzinvinny
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 1:18pm
Butler still has a very good game.  He beat Jishan Liang (~2630) at a prelim event at the Cary Cup here in Morrisville last March, 9, 4, 10.  Was a joy to see him play.


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Posted By: Tinykin
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 2:02pm
Lula, you should have a trawl through the Swedish League records and tell us how well Butler did as a player.


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Posted By: JacekGM
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 9:34pm
Originally posted by mhnh007 mhnh007 wrote:

No you don’t have a good chance if you barely make the top 100. EW. when he actively plays, is in the middle of the top 100.
This is a slightly exaggerated statement about EW...


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Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: 01/14/2019 at 11:26pm
One thing that does not get mentioned about Jim Butler is how sound he is both in terms of tactics and strategy.  Compared to many modern day players he has a comparatively limited tool set, but what tools he has/had he always used exceedingly well.  I first saw him play in mid-90s when he was around his peak and one thing that was really impressive was that he got to use that crazy backhand of his a lot.  Everyone knew to avoid it like the plague, but he always structured the game to fit his strengths.

ILya


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Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/15/2019 at 4:43am
Okay, did not know that! Tabletennis is not so important! Good that he seems to feel better! and good that he can enjoy tabletennis again. 


Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/15/2019 at 4:59am
I looked pretty fast at his results in Swedish highest league and he seems to have played pretty good! He won more games than he lost, so that was impressive! 

I still think he should play alot better today since he seems to have been pretty good when he was younger, but maybe it is because he had trouble with his health. 


Posted By: el luchador
Date Posted: 01/18/2019 at 8:51am
Jimmy Butler is probably my favorite player to watch.

His play is effortless and simple and it takes a lot of talent and intelligence and with to play simple

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Posted By: Lula
Date Posted: 01/18/2019 at 11:09am
It is proably easier to play easy today with the new ball i think. 


Posted By: vanjr
Date Posted: 01/19/2019 at 9:05am
Originally posted by liulin04 liulin04 wrote:

The topic is very misleading.  I clicked because I thought you were talking about the NBA star Jimmy Butler.  CLICKBAIT!


The Jimmy Butler we are talking about is very tall. Same person maybe???


Posted By: vanjr
Date Posted: 01/20/2019 at 7:33am
Originally posted by liulin04 liulin04 wrote:

The topic is very misleading.  I clicked because I thought you were talking about the NBA star Jimmy Butler.  CLICKBAIT!


The Jimmy Butler we are talking about is very tall. Same person maybe???


Posted By: larrytt
Date Posted: 01/20/2019 at 11:40am
Originally posted by vanjr vanjr wrote:

Originally posted by liulin04 liulin04 wrote:

The topic is very misleading.  I clicked because I thought you were talking about the NBA star Jimmy Butler.  CLICKBAIT!


The Jimmy Butler we are talking about is very tall. Same person maybe???
Google "Jimmy Butler table tennis pictures" and "Jimmy Butler basketball pictures". 
-Larry Hodges


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Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
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Posted By: FruitLoop
Date Posted: 01/20/2019 at 12:35pm
I think he was joking Larry ;).


Posted By: heavyspin
Date Posted: 01/20/2019 at 2:13pm
Their arms and body positions are similar.



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Posted By: vanjr
Date Posted: 01/20/2019 at 5:13pm
See Larrytt, i told you they are the same.


Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 01/21/2019 at 8:34pm
Originally posted by Lula Lula wrote:

Is thought US Open and US Nationals was to different tournaments? feel that US Open would be harder to win. 

I do not think Butler is or ever was very close to top 100 in the world, but maybe im wrong. But i would agree that you proably need to be a pretty high level to win US Open. Maybe the competition was not so good when Butler won. I also think Eugene Wang seems to be a much better player. 

i do not want to talk negative about Butler, i think he is a pretty good player but i do not think he should win the US Nationals when he is so old, havent played in ages and seem to have problems with injuries. I also do not talk negative about tabletennis in the US, but it is something seriously wrong when he can win. It would be more okay if he won in his prime. 


I am late to this thread, obviously.

His highest world ranking was right about 70.  He played in the Swedish elite league for a couple of years, and was a teammate and practice partner of Eric Lindh, and was coached by Stellan Bengtsson.  He had some good wins in Swedish league play.  We are talking the 1980s. 

By 2014 he was obviously not anywhere near that level but was around 2500 to 2550, and dropped a bit after that.  His back problems never entirely went away.  I know him very well indeed since we grew up in the same town and played for a long time at the same club (far from where we grew up; also I am several years older than he is, when I was really young I used to play with his dad).  I remember very well the day he walked into our club after around 15 years of not playing and told us he wanted to play again.    

He did not win the the US Open in 2014, he won the US Nationals, which is much easier to win.  You can't be terrible but it is a pretty bad statement about US table tennis in that year.  Things have improved some with some better young players coming up, and US women are better than US men.  Jimmy knows how to win and is mentally tough and gets the most out of his technique which (as he will tell you himself) has all sorts of flaws.  Do not underestimate his backhand.  Matthew Sayed did that once and lost to him at a US Open.  He is a lot better than he looks sometimes. 

I haven't seen him in a while, not sure what he is doing.  I've been dealing with injuries lately so may have missed him.  I played with him quite a bit when he was first making his comeback -- until his rapidly recovering level exceeded the point where it was any use for him.

There aren't that many people for Jimmy to train with here to maintain his level, actually the good players are all as old or older than he is!  (All former international players, but still)....    


Posted By: jackwong23
Date Posted: 01/22/2019 at 12:57am
Jimmy Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers ? He is good player, but his team mates
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are better.


Posted By: sunny
Date Posted: 09/29/2021 at 8:00am
Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:

I seem to recall Waldner was Swedish national champion at age 45.  What does that say about Swedish table tennis?  

The correct answer in my opinion is that Waldner is insanely talented and happened to be the best player that day in the competition.  Jimmy Butler was an incredible player, ranked 70th in the world when the rankings were a lot more accurate, who was sidelined by injuries for a long time.  I think he was also North American champion in his mid 40s as well. 

Older athletes are performing quite well these days.  Tom Brady, Kim Collins, lots of marathon runners from Kenya and Ethiopia, Vlady and some guy named Timo something or other to name a few.  He Zhiwen is also playing quite well at 56.  Just because an older athlete is successful, doesn't mean the other players are bad or an association is weak, it just means that athlete is just that good.     

I don't think he was North American champion, I saw him play Eugene live and Eugene beat him 4-2 in North American Championship in Mississauga Ontario.


Posted By: liulin04
Date Posted: 09/30/2021 at 4:07pm
again, this is a Clickbait post.  I clicked it yet again because I saw the title Jimmy Butler, not knowing this is my second time falling for it LOL LOL

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