Popovich on Butler: ‘He was a good person in every way’

Jan 21, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Rasual Butler (18) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Spurs defeated the Suns 117-89. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

AT&T CENTER – Tragedy struck the NBA community Wednesday when reports surfaced that former San Antonio Spurs forward Rasual Butler and his wife Leah LaBelle were killed in a car accident in California at roughly 2 AM that morning.

NBA players, organizations, media members, and fans took to social media Wednesday to provide their thoughts and prayers to Butler’s family, while memories were also shared of Butler.

Before the Spurs faced the Houston Rockets Thursday, Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich was asked about what goes through his mind when he hears the name Rasual Butler, and Popovich’s answer and message, was to cherish life.

“He was a wonderful teammate for everybody. He was a good person in every way. He was always upbeat, always ready to do whatever we asked. Just a wonderful guy. Just another lesson of how short life can be and how important it is to enjoy each other and hope that you can be fortunate enough not to get into a situation where danger can pop up and in his case, the sadness is the just the same for all of us. These guys, something befalls them like this, it’s always a shock. It’s always a loss, but, much more so to their own families. Obviously his wife was with him, which makes it even more tragic. So, we feel for all the family. That’s where your thoughts have to go. Once again we should be amazed that it can happen to any of us at any time.”

Butler made the Spurs’ team during the 2015-16 season out of training camp and was later waived in March that season.

Butler passed away at the age of 38 and his wife LaBelle at the age of 31.



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