Caron Butler Talks About Growing Up In Racine, Cocaine And Playing Ball With Tony Romo

My first introduction to Caron Butler was during his time as a member of the Connecticut Huskies.

You see, Caron Butler was the bridge between two epic eras of UConn basketball as the years before Butler was there Richard Hamilton and Khalid El-Amin reigned supreme in Storrs, and winning the 1999 National Championship in the process. After Butler left the Huskies for the 2002 NBA Draft, Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor would raise the trophy up and won the 2004 National Championship. Many forget the Butler era, but in his sophomore year he was arguably the best small forward in college basketball. However, what I remember most about him was that he was tough as hell, and took no shit from anyone. Anybody could get a scowl, get cussed at and catch an elbow in the mouth if Butler deemed it appropriate.

Caron Butler was the type of player I could easily be a fan of.

For 12 seasons, Butler's CV includes being a 2-time NBA All-Star, a member of the 2010-11 world champion Dallas Mavericks, and earning one of the best nicknames ever with "Tuff Juice." One thing that always hovered around Butler was his story. He'd been arrested 14 times before graduating high school, he was very open about the fact that he sold cocaine at an early age, and there was real doubt that he'd ever make it out of his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin.

VICE Sports was able to tag along with Butler as he re-told the story of how an ATF drug bust nearly derailed his basketball career at the age of 15. Butler's story gives us a view of his childhood, growing up in Racine, flipping bricks and burgers (Whoppers, actually, and he owns 6 Burger King's now), dealing with the ATF and hooping with....Tony Romo? Yes, Tony Romo.

FOX Sports also did a phenomenal piece similar to this on Caron, as they chronicled the story of the Racine Police Department finding dope in the garage and the officer in charge deciding to let Butler go with no arrest. The officer and Butler had a reunion a few years ago and both are now friends. Check out the video when you get time, and if the room gets dusty and you shed a tear, we promise not to judge.

Related: Tony Romo Is The Most Empathetic Figure In Sports

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