Toronto Raptors mourn the death of Rasual Butler

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Rasual Butler
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Rasual Butler /

It was announced on Wednesday that former Toronto Raptors player Rasual Butler and his wife Leah LaBelle died in a car crash, bringing on reactions from ex teammates and the rest of the NBA community.

The Toronto Raptors are in a state of mourning following the death of former guard/forward Rasual Butler and his wife Leah Labelle in a car crash on Wednesday. Butler was 38.

Butler appeared in 34 games for the Raptors during the 2011-2012 season, where he played off the bench averaging 13.3 minutes, 3.2 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per contest.

While his stint in Toronto was brief, he still managed to have a lasting impact on members of the current Raptors roster.

For Kyle Lowry, the death of Butler brought back memories of watching Butler play at La Salle University in his hometown of Philadelphia through a series of tweets and a post on Instagram.

DeMar DeRozan, who was in his third season with the Toronto Raptors when Butler joined the team, also offered his condolences on Twitter.

Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri and head coach Dwane Casey each provided statements on Butler’s death through the team’s Twitter account.

Ujiri recounted his memories of Butler when they worked together through the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Program. Casey shared memories of Butler being on the team when he first became head coach in 2012.

Butler was selected in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft by Miami and played for four seasons with the Heat. He also spent time playing for the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves. He last played for the Timberwolves in 2016.

After playing in the NBA for 13 seasons with nine different teams, news of Butler’s death spread quickly across the NBA.

Next: Jonas Valanciunas continues to excel

Do you have any memories from Butler’s time with the Raptors or in the NBA generally? Feel free to share your thoughts and condolences in the comments section below.