NBA basketball player
Birthplace: Racine, WI
You Know Him As: Forward for the Phoenix Suns (as of July 2013)
Did you know?:Caron Butler (born March 13, 1980), is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA. Butler was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin, where he suffered through a rough childhood; he was a drug dealer at age 11 and arrested 15 times before the age of 15. Caron discovered his love for basketball while at the detention center. Butler played in AAU basketball in ’98 and ’99. After a brief career at Washington Park High School, he enrolled at Maine Central Institute where he was successful enough to receive a scholarship to play at University of Connecticut for coach Jim Calhoun for two years.
Butler was a lottery pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, selected with the 10th overall pick by the Miami Heat. He is remembered for his comments on draft day after nine teams passed over him, saying that he was going to make them pay for the rest of his career. In his first season with the Heat, he averaged 15 points and 5 rebounds per game, though during his injury-hampered second season his averages fell slightly to 9 points and 4 rebounds during in 68 games. At the end of the season, the Heat traded Butler, Lamar Odom, and Brian Grant to the Los Angeles Lakers forShaquille O’Neal, with whom the Heat won their first NBA championship.Before the 2005–06 season, the Lakers traded Butler and Chucky Atkins to the Washington Wizardsfor Kwame Brown and Laron Profit. Butler later signed a 5-year, $46 million dollar deal with the team. He became part of Washington’s new “Big 3”, a trio made up of teammates Gilbert Arenas andAntawn Jamison. Butler was nicknamed “Tough Juice” by coach Eddie Jordan for his aggressive and passionate play, epitomized by Butler’s 20 rebounds in the Game 6 loss of opening-round series against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On January 17, 2007, Butler converted his first game-winning basket, a dunk following a pass fromDeShawn Stevenson with 2.2 seconds remaining against the Knicks to give the Wizards a 99–98 win. Butler was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for January 15–21, 2007. He would have his best season yet, posting career high averages in rebounds, assists, and points. He was also named as a reserve to the 2007 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star team, his first appearance. However, he broke his hand late in the season attempting to block a shot and was forced to sit out during the playoffs along with the injured Gilbert Arenas as the Wizards were swept in their opening round rematch versus the Cavaliers.
Butler, who was sidelined with a hip injury, was selected as a reserve for the East in the 2008 NBA All-Star Game inNew Orleans, Louisiana but was forced to sit out. Due to the injury, Butler missed 20 of the Wizards’ last 35 games of the season. He returned to the lineup on March 13 (his 28th birthday), when the Wizards hosted the Cavaliers. He registered 19 points (8-for-18 field goals) five rebounds in 41 minutes played in the Wizards’ 101–99 win over the Cavs.
On February 13, 2010 Butler was traded to the Dallas Mavericks along with Brendan Haywood and Deshawn Stevensonfor Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton, and Quinton Ross. The Mavericks would qualify for the 2010 NBA Playoffs as the second seed in the Western Conference, but would be upset in six games by the San Antonio Spurs. On January 4, 2011, it was announced that Butler would undergo surgery on his knee and would miss the rest of the season. The Dallas Mavericks dedicated their 2011 playoff run to him, and won the 2011 NBA Finals.
On December 9, 2011, Butler signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. During two seasons as a starter with the Clippers, he helped the team reach the playoffs twice.
On July 10, 2013, Butler was traded to the Phoenix Suns alongside Eric Bledsoe in a three-way trade that had Jared Dudley from the Suns and J. J. Redick from the Milwaukee Bucks join the Clippers and two different second round picks being sent to the Bucks.