UPDATE: Dan Steinberg has the full excerpt from Caron's new book here. Go read it now. I don't have much to add to what we've already discussed here, but it's well-worth your time to check out.
If you keep up with former Wizards, you may have heard Caron Butler was in Washington D.C this week to visit the White House and promote his new book: Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA.
On Tuesday, he sat down for an interview with Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post where some interesting things came out:
- He pledged his support for the #KD2DC movement, which is great and cements his status as a Wizard for life.
- He shared his memories of the Javaris Crittenton - Gilbert Arenas locker room gun incident.
Believe it or not, I'm more interested Butler's thoughts on the gun incident. As much as I love talking #KD2DC, this blog started covering the rise and fall of the Arenas-Butler-Jamison era and any time new details emerge, I gravitate towards it. Plus, the interview is just amazing. Read it before you do anything else. It's a great reminder of everything that was great about Caron Butler's time in Washington:
Now that you've finished reading, I have a few quick thoughts:
- Listening to Butler describe how Antawn Jamison pinned down Javaris Crittenton when the initial argument started on a team flight will really get you thinking about why everyone says he's a finesse player.
- Given what we know now, it's incredible it took over a week before the first details of the incident leaked out to the public.
- Somehow, the Wizards went on to win the next two games after the December 21 gun incident, including a win in Milwaukee on the second night of a back-to-back against the Bucks, who made the playoffs that season. Sports are weird.
- The number of What ifs that stem from this whole incident are staggering. Even though it was fairly evident the Wizards were on the verge of being broken up before this incident (they were nine games below .500 when the incident occurred), there are plenty of other hypotheticals that will eat at you if you really think about them, because they don't just affect the fate of a basketball team we enjoy watching but also the fate of a young woman who died too young and her four children who have to grow up without a mother:
- What would have happened if the 2008-09 season started better and the Wizards not decided to Antonio Daniels for Mike James and Javaris Crittenton?
- What would have happened if Gilbert Arenas had just let it go instead of provoking Crittenton at practice after the incident on the team flight?
- What would have happened if the Hawks drafted Javaris Crittenton instead of the Lakers?
- What would have happened if Gilbert Arenas had somehow been able to shoulder all the blame for the incident like he originally planned and Crittenton had somehow managed to come out of this without his name forever tarnished?
Situations like this can be incredibly difficult to discuss because you never really get any closure and you always wind up with more questions than answers. That said, Caron Butler deserves a lot of respect for his candor on this subject, as well as the other heavy topics he handles in his book.