Caron Butler RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 6-7 / 2.01
Weight:216 lbs. / 98.4 kg.
Height: 6-7 / 2.01
Weight:216 lbs. / 98.4 kg.
Q: You only played two seasons for the Heat and they traded you in 2004 for Shaquille O’Neal before they won their first title, yet you consistently have spoken about the Heat as if you spent an entire career with the team. Where does that come from? Caron Butler: “The seeds they planted in your life last forever. Micky Arison and the Arison family have been amazing to me and my family, still to this day. I saw him on Rodeo Drive All-Star Weekend and gave him a big hug. I saw Pat, as well. He still sends me text messages and we stay connected. Dwyane is godfather to my middle child, Ava. So we’ve got a connection that’s forever. It really is. It’s real family.”
Q: Tuesday also features the storyline of Dwyane again facing the Cavaliers as a member of the Heat, after starting this season with them. You were there when he started his Heat career. What’s it like to see this comeback? Caron Butler: “This past summer me and Dwyane had dinner and we talked about it, when he knew he was going to be getting his buyout from Chicago. We talked about playing in OKC with [Russell] Westbrook, Paul George and ‘Melo [Carmelo Anthony]. I told him, ‘You’re the king of Wade County.’ I felt like him being back in Miami would be the perfect ending. It’d been a huge void since he left and now he’s back and he’s filled it perfectly.”
Talk to anyone who coached Caron Butler or played with him during his NBA career and they’ll inevitably bring up the intangibles he brought to a team, intangibles that can’t be calculated, intangibles that the general public can’t statistically wrap themselves around. Like leadership and commitment to his team and to the community the team was in. Eric Bledsoe can attest to that. In 2011, with Bledsoe entering his second NBA season with the Los Angeles Clippers, Butler took him under his wing. “Caron bought me my first suit,’’ Eric Bledsoe said with a huge smile. “I mean, Caron was big on being a professional and, with me being so young, I needed someone like him. He taught me those aspects of being a professional. He told me one of the things you have to do as an NBA player is look presentable, so he got me that suit. It was a beautiful suit, too. Caron just taught me to be professional on and off the court.’’
Those words hit home with Kevin Durant as well. Durant, arguably the best player on the planet, was a teammate of Caron Butler’s while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2013-2014 season. Durant said he and Butler hit it off right away and have remained extremely close since. Durant, like Bledsoe, said Butler frequently conversed with him about basketball and life. “Caron taught me a lot about the NBA, a lot about being professional,’’ Durant said. “And his work ethic was contagious. I remember when we went to another city, he would go with me to work out or shoot around, little stuff like that, and that meant a lot to me as a player and as a person.’’ Durant said Butler was the consummate teammate, always having his back. “He would leave me notes in my locker, just words of encouragement, always trying to uplift me after a tough game,’’ Durant said. “He was always very good to me and wanted to be like a mentor for me. He had a great career, an illustrious career, and I’m very proud to spend time with him.’’
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra first encountered Caron Butler back in 2002 when the former was an assistant coach and Butler was the team’s first-round draft pick, the 10th overall selection. Spoelstra said Butler made an immediate, profound impression on him. “We love Caron,’’ Spoelstra said. “He only played two years for us, but it felt like and still feels like he’s been a member of our family for life. There are some players who you have that connection with and Caron was one of them. “He made that type of impression on each one of us in those two years. We’ve all kept in touch and, when he went on to play with different teams, we still always looked at him as part of the Heat operation.’’
Some of the biggest stars in the NBA went to La Salle University on Sunday to pay tribute to Rasual Butler … and honored their friend by circling together for an emotional chant. Chris Paul, Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Roger Mason Jr., Jim Jackson and others were in Philadelphia for the “service of love” for Butler … who was killed in a car crash in L.A. on January 31. CP3 was one of the speakers — he and Butler played together back with the Hornets.