Bob Love movie “The King’s Speech” of America

Bob Love, inspirational speaker

“Butterbean,” a $15 million movie in development -– called “’The King’s Speech’ of America” — is the true life story of 1970s Chicago Bulls basketball star Bob Love, who was handicapped all his life by a stutter so paralyzing and humiliating it rendered him nearly dumb.

The screenplay was written by producer/director Jim White after he met Love at a function a few years ago.  Stirred by the former NBA star’s inspirational story, White said to him, “Someone ought to make a movie of your life,” and Love replied, “You do it.”

Love was at the top of his game when he was sidelined by a back injury.  His wife left him penniless.  He migrated to Seattle where he got a job washing dishes at Nordstrom’s.  When founder John Nordstrom discovered Love and his plight, he funded his lengthy speech therapy and thereafter appointment him the store’s minority recruiter.

Bob Love, “The King’s Speech” of AmericaLove, whose number 10 jersey was only the second retired by the Bulls (Jerry Sloan’s was the first), ultimately returned to the Bullas as their director of community relations.  Since the mid-80s, he has been an inspirational speaker to 200,000 persons a year, from school children — who, now grown, will stop him on the street to thank him for inspiring them — to top business executive throughout the country.

 “I hope this movie will help stutterers everywhere and let them know they are not alone and to never give up,” Love says.  Stutterers have to work hard.  I had to start with one word, ‘Bob,’ and work up to a sentence and paragraph.”

Love said it took him several years before he felt comfortable being with other people in public.  “I am not cured, People who stutter are never cured.  But we have learned special breathing techniques and exercises that get us out of these traps.”

“Butterbean” screenwriter Jim White

Before White started tackling the movie script in 2008, he produced an award-winning documentary, “Find Yourself a Dream, the Bob Love Story,” that won a local Emmy and several top film festivals awards.

White’s “Butterbean” movie script won first runner up at the Beverly Hills Film Festival in 2008, where he met sports specialist Mark Ellis, who is attached as director.

Since then, White has written three other screenplays: “Dinky Dau,” about a Vietnam veteran, was a 2010 finalist at Beverly Hills and Charleston festivals and his latest, “The Journal,” a love story based on the Tulsa riots of the 1920s, was just accepted by the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

The Love biopic, which has the endorsement of the NBA, will be produced in Chicago later this summer by Butterbean the Movie, LLC.  

Scenes also will be shot in Love’s home state of Louisiana, where he was one of 14 children in his impoverished family and grew up on the last plantation in the state.  As a little boy, he picked cotton for $2.50 a pound.  

Jim White’s phone number is 773/787-6614.