Who was Rasual Butler?
Rasual Butler was an African-American professional basketball player. In an NBA career spanning more than fourteen years, he played for some of the best NBA franchises. These include the ‘Miami Heat’, ‘New Orleans Hornets’, ‘Los Angeles Clippers’, ‘Chicago Bulls’, ‘Toronto Raptors’, and ‘Tulsa 66ers’. Butler also played for teams like the ‘Indiana Pacers’, ‘Washington Wizards’, and ‘San Antonio Spurs’. If that wasn’t enough, even early in his career, he made the ‘First-team All-Atlantic 10’ twice. In his NBA career he gained fame for playing in the small forward and shooting guard positions. In a career total of 809 NBA games, Rasual Butler averaged 21.3 minutes per game and had a field goal percentage of 36.2%. His free throw percentage stood at 74.7% and he averaged 7.5 points per game during his NBA stint. Before his untimely death in a DUI accident, he was widely considered one of the most respected locker room leaders in the NBA. He also made guest appearances in the movie ‘Think Like a Man’ and television series ‘Khloé & Lamar’. He was also featured in the music video ‘Trina Feat. Kelly Rowland: Here We Go’
Childhood & Early Life
Rasual Butler was born on May 23, 1979, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. His mother’s name is Cheryl Taylor. His father, Felix Cheeseborough, was stabbed to death in a street fight in 1987. He was brought up by his grandfather, Bobby Toomer.
Growing up in one of Philadelphia’s toughest neighborhoods, Point Breeze, Butler grew up surrounded by violence and crime. He had to work hard to keep his focus on school and basketball. He always considered himself lucky that he could make it out alive of South Philadelphia.
He worked in his grandfather’s shop ‘Bob’s Grocery’ as a kid. He went to study at ‘The Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia’. He played school basketball, averaging 26.7 points, 4 blocks, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.
To stay closer to his grandfather, Rasual Butler opted to play college basketball for the ‘La Salle Explorers’ basketball team (1998 – 2002). He is the fourth all-time highest scorer at ‘La Salle University’ with 2125 points. He became a ‘La Salle Hall of Athletes’ inductee in 2008.
In 2001 and 2002, he earned his place in the ‘First Team All-Atlantic 10’. In 2002, he was also named in the ‘Verizon Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship’ All-Tournament team.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
Once his college basketball career ended, Rasual Butler was drafted 53rd in the ‘2002 NBA Draft’ on June 26, 2002. He joined the ‘Miami Heat’ (2002–2005). He played 182 games. He averaged 18.6 MPG (minutes per game), 2.7 FG (Field goal percentage), 0.9 3P (3-point field goal percentage), and 6.9 PPG (points per game).
Butler was traded off to the ‘New Orleans Hornets’ (2005 – 2009) who later became known as the ‘New Orleans Pelicans’. He played 293 games. He averaged 25.9 MPG, 3.4 FG, 1.4 3P, and 9.1 PPG.
Rasual Butler was recruited by the ‘Los Angeles Clippers’ on August 12, 2009. He was waived off by the team on February 28, 2011. He played 123 games, averaging 28.0 MPG, 1.5 3P, 3.5 FG, and 9.6 PPG.
He joined the ‘Chicago Bulls’ on March 3, 2011. He played only 6 games for them averaging 2.7 PPG and 0.7 3P. He was let go and signed a one-year deal with the Spanish team ‘CB Gran Canaria’ in August 2011. He never played for them though.
Despite struggling with his form in the NBA, Butler landed a one-year deal with the ‘Toronto Raptors’ (2011–2012). In his 34 games, he averaged 13.3 MPG, 0.6 3P, and 3.2 PPG . He was let go on March 23, 2012.
Rasual Butler redeemed himself by becoming the ‘2013 Impact player of the Year’. He earned it for his contributions to the ‘NBA D-League’ team, ‘Tulsa 66ers’, which he joined on January 18, 2013.
On September 27, 2013, ‘Indiana Pacers’ signed him to a one-year deal. In his 50 games, he averaged 7.6 MPG 0.5 3P, 2.7 PPG, and 0.3 APG (assists per game).
The ‘Washington Wizards’ signed Butler on September 29, 2014. In his 75 games, he averaged 20.1 MPG, 1.2 3P, 2.6 RPG (rebounds per game), and 7.7 PPG.
He joined the ‘San Antonio Spurs’ on September 28, 2015. In 46 games, he averaged 2.7 PPG, 1.2 RPG, and 1.1 3P.
His last appearance in the NBA was for the ‘Minnesota Timberwolves’ (September 26, 2016, - October 22, 2016). He was let go after 5 preseason games.
He then played in the ‘BIG3’ for ‘Ball Hogs’ and ‘Power’ in 2017.
Family & Personal Life
Rasual Butler was in a longtime relationship with singer Leah LaBelle (born September 8, 1986). They had a daughter Raven from Leah’s earlier marriage. The couple never officially married.
Tragically, both Butler and Leah LaBelle passed away in a car crash on January 31, 2018. Rasual who was driving the Range Rover lost control and crashed into a parking lot in Studio City, California. Autopsy reports revealed high levels of methamphetamine, oxycodone, alcohol, and marijuana in Butler’s body.