First and foremost, Caron Butler is awesome. Narrowing this list down to five took more effort than I would have thought. To say he had a rough upbringing would be an understatement, and to turn that into a near-15 year professional basketball career shows a lot about his character. It would be easy to let the potential impact of his signing slip through the cracks of any Kings-related analysis because his on-the-court production isn’t why he’s here, and off-the-court impact is impossible to quantify, but if I’m Vlade Divac, I’d sleep a little easier at night knowing Butler is in the locker room.
1. The roughest two weeks of his life
This is Caron Butler we're talking about here. He had been arrested 15 times before he turned 15. He had spent time in a maximum-security detention center, and yet the roughest two weeks of his entire life was spent in bed trying to kick a Mountain Dew addiction. No, seriously.
Caron Butler (2009), via Yahoo! Sports -
"I lost 11 pounds this summer by giving up Mountain Dew. That's right Mountain Dew. A lot of people don't know I'm a Mountain Dew addict so I guess this is my confession.
To try and give this up was crazy for me! I was going through withdrawals. I was in the bed sweating. My wife would turn over in the bed and ask "Are you OK?" Honestly, those first two weeks without The Dew [were] the roughest two weeks of my life. I'm talking headaches, sweats and everything. Before that I drank at least six 12-ounce Mountain Dews a day.
It was so bad at one point that I had to have a cold one right there at the night stand before I went to bed. I had to get the coasters and let it drip a lil' bit and just have it waiting on me. Come 2 a.m., I'd wake up out of my sleep, I'd pop one open and hear the fizz sound ... and just down it! Then I always had to have another one in the morning when I woke up. Before practice I had one too and before games I would knock back two."
2. Tuff Juice
With the signing of Caron Butler, the Sacramento Kings also acquired the NBA’s best nickname, Tuff Juice. There are a few different stories surrounding the nicknames genesis, but the most legitimate seems to be centered around a Washington Wizards practice in 2006 where Butler was "bowling over teammates" in a scrimmage, and when some of his teammates complained, Butler yelled "Man, you guys need to drink some tough juice!" Former Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan called Butler ‘tough juice’ from that point on, and the name stuck.
3. Caron Buter, Straw Connoisseur
Caron Butler chews/chewed on over 60 straws per day. Someone is going to have to ask him if he's still doing this, but it was a real issue for Butler and the NBA to the point where the NBA actually banned his straw chewing in 2010. Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post interviewed Butler about it, which I will embed below.
Butler prefers McDonald's straws, and TNT challenged that preference by forcing Butler to choose a McDonald's straw out of a 15-straw lineup while blindfolded. His performance was breathtaking.
4. Three-Point Celebration
Caron Butler's 'phone call gesture' after he hits a three (a play on 'long distance'?) is dramatically improved when someone, anyone, answers the call. Here's to plenty of threes from Tuff Juice at Sleep Train this season, and I may lose it if Quincy Acy ever gets on the other end.
5. NBA Champion, Two-Time All-Star
Caron Butler is well past his prime, but his prime was nothing to sneeze at. He was a two-time All-Star with the mid-2000’s, Gilbert Arenas-led Wizards. He was an NBA Champion with the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks. That Mavericks team also had former Kings legend and potential front office executive Peja Stojakovic on it. Caron was also teammates with Vlade Divac somewhat briefly, as he was on the Lakers during Vlade's last season. I'm sure those connections helped in bringing Caron to Sacramento this summer.
If you want a little more insight into Caron Butler’s fascinating backstory, Fox Sports filmed a mini-documentary on him last year, which you can find below.