Season in Review: #2 Caron Butler
By Nick Gallo | Thunder Basketball Writer
After being acquired in March, Caron Butler instantly made a positive impact on the Thunder locker room.
As a veteran perimeter shooter and physical defender, Butler had the opportunity to both come off the bench in the regular season and then start two games in the playoffs. In 22 regular season games with the Thunder, Butler scored 9.7 points per game and shot 44.1 percent from the three-point line, helping the Thunder stretch the floor on offense for playmakers to find lanes to create.
Although he played fewer minutes and had a slightly smaller, more specific role than he had in past seasons with other clubs, Butler was grateful for the opportunity to join a contender right after the All-Star Break. Becoming a part of a winning culture with high aspirations was something Butler reveled in from the moment he stepped into the INTEGIRS Health Thunder Development Center.
“As you get older, you realize the importance of legacy and what you want to leave behind and what you want to take with you,” Butler said.
Ultimately, the Thunder didn’t quite reach its goal of winning an NBA championship or making it to the NBA Finals, but its ability to compete at a high level against top tier teams was impressive, even down to the final buzzer of Game 6 against the San Antonio Spurs. As a man who has played 12 years in the NBA for seven different teams, Butler values being in a healthy environment that is conducive to breeding sustainable success.
During the 2013-14 campaign, he helped support team leaders like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, along with his contributions on the court, like a pair of 23-point games in regular season wins along with two crucial starts in Games 6 and 7 of the first round of the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies. Despite coming up just six games shy of the biggest prize the NBA can offer, Butler was proud of the effort he and his teammates gave this year.
“That was one of the reasons I came here- high expectations and the opportunity to go to the Finals and a chance to win it all,” Butler said. “We fell a little short. It’s really unfortunate, but life goes on.”
“The guys did a good job of collectively just playing hard and leaving it out there,” Butler said.