Tag: Caron Butler

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings

Omri Casspi says Kings going in right direction, can make playoffs in West


On paper, and with a little luck, the Kings look like a pretty good team — Rajon Rondo running the point, Rudy Gay on the wing, and DeMarcus Cousins in the paint anchoring it all. Add a coach who gets teams to rack up wins in George Karl and some solid veteran role players (Kosta K0ufos, Caron Butler, Marco Belinelli, etc.) and there is some potential.

In reality, this is what even Karl called a “combustible” mix. There are players with a lot of different styles and big egos that have to come together on this team — maybe they can bond over a hatred of Karl? — and the organization, to put it kindly, has not been a model of stability. This team can go a lot of different directions next season.

Omri Casspi, who chose to re-sign with the Kings this summer, thinks the Kings are a playoff team. He believes this is a team on the rise with a shot at the playoffs, he told James Herbert of CBSSports.com.

I like Sacramento. I felt like I had a really good connection with the coach last year. I feel like the direction of the team is going, it’s finally moving and getting some speed in the right direction. I feel like we have a good team. I felt I want to be a part of something that’s growing and competing for the playoffs next year and being in the playoffs, putting ourselves in a position to win championships. And I didn’t want to leave. I trust our organization, I trust our coaches. We have the best center in the league. Obviously we’re going in the right direction.

I’m not sure I’d go with the word “obvious,” but people around the Kings believe it. We’ll see if they can prove it once the games start — making the playoffs in the West is a lofty goal for a team that was 16 games out of the eight seed a year ago. It’s a brutal conference where teams like Dallas, Utah, and Phoenix could all be in the mix for one final playoff spot. Sacramento fancies itself in that group.

Casspi also talked about his connection with DeMarcus Cousins (who traveled with Casspi back to Israel this summer for an NBA Cares event and some bonding).

Me and DeMarcus met, it was my second year and it was his first. We had a good connection, you know? It’s like with your family; you can tell them everything. They trust you and you trust them in the same way. If you do something wrong, they’ll tell you and vice versa. He came all the way from the United States to see my family and meet my family. Seeing him having dinner and talking to my mom and dad and my sister … we have a special bond and I love him. So he’s my brother.


Tim Duncan wins NBA teammate award despite teammates not being allowed to vote for him

Charlotte Hornets v San Antonio Spurs

I like the idea of the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. It’s noble to honor the NBA’s best teammate.

Chauncey Billups won the inaugural award in 2013, and Shane Battier took it last year. Both seem to be good teammates.

As does Tim Duncan, who won this year.

Watch for the fine print, though.

NBA release:

NBA players have selected the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan as the recipient of the 2014-15 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.  The award recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to team.

A panel of NBA Legends nominated six players from each conference for the award and then nearly 300 NBA players submitted their votes through confidential balloting conducted by the league office.

Ten points were awarded for a first-place vote, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth; players were not allowed to vote for a teammate.

Here are the full results (first-place votes, second-place votes, third-place votes, fourth-place votes, fifth-place votes, total points):

1. Tim Duncan, San Antonio (72-59-44-49-21-1494)
2. Vince Carter, Memphis (28-39-30-28-21-818)
3. Elton Brand, Atlanta (21-27-44-23-19-707)
4. Ryan Anderson, New Orleans (31-29-12-19-23-653)
5. Jameer Nelson, Denver (39-14-13-22-33-652)
6. Mike Miller, Cleveland (16-23-26-41-29-603)
7. Steve Blake, Portland (18-23-24-27-22-564)
8. Pau Gasol, Chicago (15-24-20-21-27-508)
9. Andre Iguodala, Golden State (19-18-21-19-15-493)
10. Udonis Haslem, Miami (15-13-24-22-13-440)
11. Caron Butler, Detroit (14-17-20-17-20-430)
12. Al Jefferson, Charlotte (11-13-21-20-46-412)

In case you missed it: “Players were not allowed to vote for a teammate.”

A lot of players outside San Antonio think Duncan is a good teammate. OK. That’s nice. Is that really worth celebrating, though?

They ought to rename it the Twyman-Stokes Hearsay Award.

Caron Butler plans autobiography for October

Caron Butler

Caron Butler has been very open about his upbringing — in high school in Racine, Wisconsin, he was a drug dealer. He spent time in jail as a teenager and was caught in the middle of all kinds of violence. He ultimately carved out a long, successful NBA career (he’s now with the Kings) and became known for his charitable work. He’s still a staple in the community in his hometown, although now he’s seen as a success story that kids can look up to, not as a casualty of gang culture.

On October 7, Butler is going to release an autobiography called Tuff Juice: My Journey From the Streets to the NBA. Here’s the description from the publisher:

Two-time All-Star and thirteen-year NBA veteran Caron Butler has an impressive basketball record. He was Big East Co-Player of the Year at UConn, the 10th overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft and a key player for the Dallas Mavericks in their championship-winning season in 2011.

But before Butler had a chance to prove himself on the court, he spent his time trying to prove himself on the streets, as a gang member and drug dealer in his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin. He saw friends gunned down in the bloody street wars near his home, was arrested nearly 15 times and wound up behind bars and in solitary confinement before his 15th birthday.

Tuff Juice shares Caron Butler’s extraordinary journey from his delinquent youth in the streets of Racine to his role as an accomplished pro basketball player, dedicated husband and father, active philanthropist and burgeoning businessman. Along the way, the book explores the incredible impact his single mother’s unconditional love and his college coach’s unwavering support had on him, and what drives him to be so successful in basketball and in life.

Like The Blind Side, it’s a gripping narrative filled with hubris, dangerous obstacles and heartwarming moments that transcend sports and speak to perseverance, hope and the triumph of the human spirit.

If it’s anything like his video series with VICE Sports last fall, it’s going to be worth checking out. If you’re unfamiliar with Butler’s story, it’s well worth watching:

Kings void Luc Richard Mbah Moute contract after he fails physical

Philadelphia 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers

This was unexpected — the Sacramento Kings have voided their one-year contract with forward Luc Mbah Moute after he failed a physical.

This was going to be just a one-year, veteran minimum deal. The Kings are deep at the three — Rudy Gay, Caron Butler and Omri Casspi — but Mbah a Moute likely would have played more at the four backing up Willie Cauley-Stein. Now the Kings need more depth behind the rookie, but with Casspi going into the room exception the Kings do not have much money to use, just minimum deals.

It’s not known right now why Mbah a Moute failed the physical, and if it is something that will prevent another team from signing him.

Mbah a Moute may have averaged 9.9 points a game last season in Philly, his career best numbers, although that was more due to the rest of the roster and it’s lack of other, better offensive options. He’s a career 6.8 points per game guy.

PBT Podcast: Talking Sacramento Kings with Bill Herenda (and some DeAndre Jordan, too)

Atlanta Hawks v Sacramento Kings

There have been two hard-to-believe story lines this free agency.

First, the DeAndre Jordan change of heart that made the Clippers contenders and left Dallas in the mud.

Second, the saga of the Sacramento Kings. There’s friction between coach George Karl and star DeMarcus Cousins. There’s an unpredictable owner. There’s an inexperienced GM in Vlade Divac who has upgraded the talent on the roster but made a baffling trade. Then they inject Rajon Rondo right into that mix.

In this latest podcast, we break down both of those topics with special guest Bill Herenda, the Kings’ insider for CSNBayArea.com, PBT’s Kurt Helin and NBCSports’ Dominic Ridgard. (Note: This was recorded just before news of the Caron Butler signing broke.)

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.