Dallas, Feb. 13, 2010 - Brian Butch, whose nickname is the "Polar Bear," felt right at home in snowy Dallas this weekend, capturing MVP honors in the 2010 NBA Development League All-Star Game, played on Center Court at NBA Jam Session presented by adidas.
Butch, the NBA D-League's 16th leading scorer (16.1 ppg), scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, as the West raced past the East, 98-81 in front of a packed house at Center Court. Diamon Simpson of the Los Angeles D-Fenders added 15 points, while Rio Grande Valley's Mike Harris had 14 points for the West Squad.
"It's just a great honor. You come out there – it is just one game – but I just went out there and tried to play as hard as I possibly could, and show everyone what I could do," said Butch, who went undrafted in 2008 and played in the 2008 NBA Summer League with the Memphis Grizzlies. "I think the thing that I do the best – what my skill set would be – is a big man who can shoot the ball. I think there are some other things I can do. I'm trying to improve my rebounding, as well as some other things that can lead to a call-up, and hopefully I'll sink in somewhere."
The Iowa Energy's Earl Barron, who spent parts of three seasons with the Miami Heat from 2005 through 2008, paced the East team with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Sioux Falls' Reggie Williams, the NBA D-League's third-leading scorer (25.8 ppg), added 17 points for the East, while Iowa's Curtis Stinson dished out a game-high 11 assists.
"It was a great opportunity to play here in Dallas for All-Star," said Barron, the NBA D-League's sixth-leading rebounder. "I've got my family here and a few friends and all the people I know are watching this on NBA TV."
Chris Finch of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, who coached the West squad, was happy with his team's balanced effort.
"It's simply about trying to even-out minutes and get guys in there at the right time so that they get a chance to play well," said Finch, whose Vipers lead the Western Conference at 23-8. "We told our guys that we were going to split the minutes into blocks. We told them we were going to be fair and that it was a chance for these guys to showcase their skills."