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! colspan="3" | Competitor for 23x15px United States
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|Gold medal – first place|| 2001 Saitama || Team competition
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James Caron Butler (born March 13, 1980) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (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. Butler discovered his love for basketball while at the detention center. Butler played in AAU basketball in '98 and '99. After a brief career at Racine Park High School, he enrolled at Maine Central Institute where he was successful enough to receive a scholarship to play at UConn for coach Jim Calhoun for two years.
At Connecticut, Butler lost 15 pounds off his frame and developed his perimeter game. As a freshman, Butler led the Huskies, only two years removed from a National Championship, in both scoring and rebounding with 15.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game respectively. The summer after his freshman season he started for the US team that took home gold in the 2001 FIBA World Championship for Young Men.
Butler followed his spectacular rookie campaign with an even better sophomore season. Butler averaged 20.3 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore leading the Huskies to both regular season and tournament Big East titles. He was named co-Big East player of the year (along with Pittsburgh's Brandin Knight) and a second-team All American. Butler led the Huskies to the Elite 8 of the NCAA basketball tournament. Despite 32 points from Butler, the Huskies lost a close game to eventual national champion Maryland Terrapins. After the season Butler declared for the NBA draft.
Butler was a lottery pick in the 2002 NBA draft, selected with the 10th overall pick by the rebuilding Miami Heat. Miami would rely on Butler immediately despite being a rookie, and he would start in all 78 games he played in during the season, averaging 15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and finished 8th in the league in steals with 1.8 per game. Despite Miami winning just 25 games and missing the playoffs, Butler proved to be a notable rookie, winning the rookie of the month awards four times during the season while also getting selected to play in the rookie challenge game at that year's All-Star weekend in Atlanta. By season's end, Butler would also be named to the first team on the NBA All-Rookie Team. Miami would again enter the draft lottery, and this time drafted Dwyane Wade before acquiring Lamar Odom from the Los Angeles Clippers. In the 2003-2004 season, however, Butler struggled with injuries that hampered him throughout the season, and he would go on to start in just 56 of 68 games. His scoring average fell to 9.2 points game for the season, but Miami's balanced offense led by Wade, Odom and Eddie Jones propelled Miami into the playoffs. In the first round, the Heat faced the New Orleans Hornets and the two teams would battle in a grueling 7 games series in which the home team won every game. In game 7, Miami closed out the series with Butler scoring 23 points with 9 rebounds. The Heat advanced to the play the top seeded Indiana Pacers, who were heavily favored and won the first two games of the series before Miami responded with two home wins to tie the series at 2 games apiece. Butler scored 21 points with 10 rebounds in the fourth game, but the Pacers responded to win the series in 6 games. Following the season, Miami decided to shake up the roster and traded Butler, Odom and Brian Grant to the Los Angeles Lakers for superstar center Shaquille O'Neal.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers had been a title contender but were now in rebuilding mode, led by superstar guard Kobe Bryant. Butler started in all of his 77 games in the 2004-2005 season, averaging 15.5 points a game with a then career high field goal percentage of .445 percent. The Lakers struggled with injuries and a midseason coaching change however, and failed to make the playoffs. Once again, the offseason meant Butler would be shipped again, as the Lakers traded him and Chucky Atkins to the Washington Wizards for Kwame Brown and Laron Profit.
Upon arriving in Washington, Butler signed a 5-year, $46 million deal with the team. He became part of Washington's new "Big 3", a trio made up of teammates Gilbert Arenas and Antawn 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 from DeShawn 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 in New 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) and 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 Stevenson for 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 to repair a torn patella tendon in his right knee and would miss the rest of the season. The Dallas Mavericks dedicated their 2011 playoff run to him, and eventually won the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
Los Angeles Clippers
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 both 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. On August 29, 2013, the Suns traded Butler to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ish Smith and Viacheslav Kravtsov. On February 27, 2014, Butler was bought out of his contract by the Bucks, and in 34 games, he averaged 11.0 points per game.
Oklahoma City Thunder
On March 1, 2014, Butler signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Butler finished the season having played in 22 regular season games and 17 playoff games for the Thunder as they went on to the Western Conference Finals before being defeated by the San Antonio Spurs.
On July 15, 2014, Butler signed with the Detroit Pistons to a reported two-year, $9 million contract.
Butler is a Christian. After Butler was sent to a juvenile institution, he began to change his life by reading Bible verses. Butler began his interest in basketball by looking at a basketball court from his window in the juvenile institution. Butler spoke of it saying, "God puts stuff in front of you for a reason." Butler also said, "God put his hands on my life. [God] said, ‘I’m going to touch you so that you can touch others.’"
Butler has a habit of chewing on straws, which he picked up back in AAU ball in '98 or '99. His straws of choice are from McDonald's. While playing for the Washington Wizards, he had an addiction to the soda Mountain Dew. He said he drank about six 12 ounce sodas a day and would wake up in the middle of the night to have one.
Butler attended a surprise birthday party for Anthony Fadel, a 16-year-old in the Washington, D.C. area when invited by the boy's family. The party was held in May 2007, and the event was primarily reported by Internet blogs, since Wizards PR purposely did not cover the event to preserve the sincerity of Butler's gesture.
After working at Burger King in his youth, Butler now owns 6 of the fast food restaurants across the US. He has taken Business Management classes at Duke.
Butler is the son of Mattie Paden, and has a wife named Andrea.
NBA career statistics
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|| L.A. Clippers
|| Oklahoma City
- ^ Overcoming the Odds. Oprah.com (2005-09-09). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ Overcoming the Odds. Oprah.com (2005-09-09). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ a b c On Caron Butler and Straws. Voices.washingtonpost.com (2007-04-24). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ Lee, Michael (2008-02-16). "The Great Escape". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- ^ Caron Butler Statistics. Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ Third FIBA World Championship For Young Men – 2001. Saitama, Japan August 3–12, 2001 at the Wayback Machine (archived June 3, 2004). usabasketball.com
- ^ a b Butler Selected by Miami With 10th Pick. www.UConnHuskies.com
- ^ Banged-up Wizards expect to have Butler back in lineup against Cavs. Sports.espn.go.com (2008-03-12). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ 'Tough Juice' hits the spot. Washington Times (2006-04-17). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ Butler's dunk in final seconds lifts Wizards past Knicks. Sports.espn.go.com (2007-01-17). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ Butler, Nash Named NBA Players of the Week. NBA.com (2007-01-22). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ "2007 All-Star Reserves Announced", NBA.com, 2 February 2007.
- ^ Butler returns as Wizards dodge Cavs, get back to .500. Sports.espn.go.com (2008-03-13). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ Caron Butler out for season. Hangtime.blogs.nba.com (2011-01-04). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ Petersen, Matt (2013-07-10). "Suns Complete Deal for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler". NBA.com.
- ^ Suns Trade for Kravtsov, Smith From Bucks. Nba.com (2013-08-29). Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ Bucks Request Waivers on Caron Butler
- ^ Thunder Signs Caron Butler
- ^ Detroit Pistons Sign Free Agent Forward Caron Butler
- ^ Caron Butler Expected To Sign Two-Year, $9M Deal With Pistons
- ^ "Where Transformation Can Lead".
- ^ More on Caron Butler's extreme Mountain Dew addiction – Ball Don't Lie – NBA Blog – Yahoo! Sports. Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ "A Caron Butler Surprise". The Washington Post.
- ^ ESPN – Caron Butler in the Basement – TrueHoop. Myespn.go.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
- ^ a b Helin, Kurt (2010-07-21). "Caron Butler used to work at a Burger King, now owns six". nbcsports.com.
- ^ Who Made You - Caron Butler
- ^ WIZARDS: Player Profile: Caron Butler