Caron Butler retires after a 14-year NBA career
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Butler played for the University of Connecticut from 2000 to 2002. As a sophomore in 2002, Butler was named the Big East Player of the Year. After missing the NCAA Basketball Tournament in 2001, Butler led UCONN to an elite eight appearance before losing to eventual champion Maryland.
The heart of the matter...
Butler said playing in the NBA was a dream with all of the great teammates and coaches he had. He states that he may be retiring from the game, but will stay close to it.
The Miami Heat drafted Butler 10th overall in the 2002 NBA Draft that featured Yao Ming as the #1 pick overall. Butler would play two years with the Heat before joining the Los Angeles Lakers in his third season.
He would then play for the Wizards, Mavericks, Clippers, Bucks, Thunder, Pistons, and Kings leading up to his final NBA season during the 2015-16 season.
Butler was a two-time NBA All-Star (2007 & 2008) and won the NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. For his career, he averaged 14.1 PPG and 5.0 RPG.
When it came to talking about the fans, Butler would say the following:
"And to the fans—you will never know the joy you brought me. Thank you. I hope that when you think of the name Caron Butler, you remember how much I loved and respected the game. I hope you have an image of a guy who gave it everything he had, physically and mentally. I know it's a cliche, but this really was more than a game for me—it was what saved me from a very grim future."
It is unknown what steps Butler will take next in basketball if it is an ambassador or a coach in the NBA or any other level. He is also a businessman as he owns six restaurants across the United States.
Butler was a great example of what basketball can do for a youth who was around drugs and trouble at a young age. He was able to turn his life around with basketball and was able to turn it into a scholarship to play at the University of Connecticut and a very lengthy NBA career.