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Former NBA Player Rasual Butler, Wife Die In Car Crash

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The NBA is mourning the loss of former player Rasual Butler who, along with his wife Leah LaBelle, died in a car crash Wednesday morning in Los Angeles, according to NBC Washington’s Heather Navarro.

One of the teams Butler played for during his career, the Miami Heat, who drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2002 draft, sent the following message out about Butler’s death on their Twitter page:

Butler reportedly lost control of the vehicle he was driving around 2 a.m. local time and then the car “struck a parking meter and slammed into a wall”, according to TMZ Sports.

Butler spent 13 years in the NBA playing for the Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Chicago BullsWashington Wizards, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs.

Many former teammates commented on Butler’s passing, per TMZ Sports:

Ray Allen  — “I cannot believe this!!!!!!!!!My heart is heavy!!! We lost a good one today! RIP Rasual you were such a great talent on the court but an even better man off it! My thoughts are with the entire Butler family as they mourn the tragic loss of their son/brother and his beautiful wife, Leah. Gone too soon. Rest in power”

Damon Jones — “RIP @RasualButler45!! GOD please be with his kids and family during this difficult time!”

Lamarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs — “Devastated to hear the news about the passing of my former teammate, Rasual, & his wife. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families during this difficult time. Rasual was an amazing teammate and an even better person. He will truly be missed!”

Matt Barnes — “Rip to the homie Rasual Butler & his wife!! Condolences to the butler family & friends. Damn Bro”

Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards — “Omg….. RIP Rasual Butler :(( terrible News ?”

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers — “Incredibly sad news to hear about Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. Prayers to both of their families through this tough time.”

Solomon Hill, New Orleans Pelicans — “lost an OG today, a true pro, a teacher, and competitor. who was not only a great mentor but also a great father. @rasualbutler45 rest peacefully my brother. #gonetoosoon”

Paul Pierce — “So sad this morning to here about my friend and teammate ? RIP Rasual Butler appreciate the people around u because u never kno”

Garrett Temple, Sacramento Kings — “Can’t comprehend what I just heard about my former teammate @RasualButler45 and his wife!!! REST IN PEACE people. DAMNNNNN”

Reggie Miller — “Saddened by the news and the loss of Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. Talk about a great dude and family man. I know he had many stops during his 13 year NBA journey, but he was beloved becasue of his work ethic in Indiana. New guardian Angels..”

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors — “I remember I called you when you got drafted on draft night and I was at a camp and I wanted to show off because I knew you and you answered the phone for a 16year old who was one of your biggest fans.. this is truly a sad day for me !! RIP Sual bop my oldhead!!”

Austin Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers — “It was a pleasure meeting you man. Getting to work with you last year was amazing. For you were not only a knowledgeable player….but more so a great man! Smh Crazy this just happened. May you and your wife RIP in heaven.”

Chauncey Billups — “I’m shocked, saddened and in disbelief about the news on my friend Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. May God be with their families. We will miss you ‘Sul..”

Allen Iverson — “Rest easy my brother. See you when I get there!!!”

 

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Chicago Bulls

Bulls Pulling Jabari Parker from Regular Rotation

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It appears that the Chicago Bulls are souring on Jabari Parker, who will reportedly be pulled from the regular rotation, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

The 23-year old Parker came to Chicago via a two-year, $40 million deal during the offseason, and marked a return to his hometown and a chance to re-ignite his career.

Now, it appears certain that the Bulls will decline his option, sending Parker back to free agency next summer.

“Jabari has been great,” Bulls head coach Jim Boylen said, according to Andrews. “He understands. Jabari wants to make it about helping the team win. And that’s what I’ve asked him to do.”

Parker has averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds for Chicago this season.

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Detroit Pistons

Pistons Interested in 76ers’ Markelle Fultz

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The Detroit Pistons may be in the market for a point guard and are apparently eyeing struggling Philadelpha 76ers’ point guard Markelle Fultz, according to The Detroit Free Press’ Vince Ellis.

Detroit is reportedly eyeing a young point guard in preparation for the potential departure of Reggie Jackson via free agency following next season.

The report pointed out that in order to take on Fultz, the Pistons would have to move money around to avoid the luxury tax.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs’ Tristan Thompson Out 2-4 Weeks

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without center Tristan Thompson for two-to-four weeks with a sprained left foot, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Thompson exited Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter after he landed awkwardly on the foot of Bucks’ guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Thompson, 27, is averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game this season for Cleveland.

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