Nicknamed “Tough Juice,” Caron Butler certainly made sure he earned his way to Las Vegas this season, as today he was announced as a 2007 NBA All Star reserve, adding to the Wizards line-up in Vegas that already included starting guard Gilbert Arenas and Head Coach Eddie Jordan.
“It’s exciting because it’s one of those things where you have your fingers crossed hoping it’s going to happen but you don’t want to get your hopes up just in case,” said Butler, who is averaging career highs in several categories including scoring (20.6 points per game), rebounding (8.0 per game), assists (3.9 per game) and shooting percentage (47.8). “It’s really special to be a part of that elite group. It’s like ‘Cheers.’ You want to go where everyone knows your name, where you are recognized as a star. It’s a great feeling.”
The reserves were selected by Eastern Conference coaches. The other reserves are New Jersey’s Vince Carter and Jason Kidd, Detroit’s Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups, Indiana’s Jermaine O’Neal and Orlando’s Dwight Howard.
“I always had the confidence that I was an elite player in this league,” Butler said. “If I hadn’t been sidetracked by an injury early on, who knows what would have happened? Maybe I would’ve made it sooner but then again, I look at the trade from Miami to Los Angeles as a blessing because without that, I wouldn’t be here. This is a perfect fit for me”
Butler is Washington’s third all-star in the last three seasons. Arenas and Jamison made the team as reserves in 2004-2005, and Arenas was the team’s lone representative last season.
The franchise has previously had three All-Star coaches; Gene Shue in 1968-69, KC Jones in 1974-75, and Dick Motta in 1978-79. No Washington team has been in first place in the Conference this late in the season since Motta’s 78-79 squad finished the regular season with the Conference’s top seed. Jordan was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in December, and Washington owns the Eastern Conference’s highest scoring offense at 107.1 ppg, and the Conference’s best home record at 18-4.
Caron Butler Has Done Every Little Thing Right This Season for the Wizards, Including Helping His Team to a First Place Standing in the Eastern Conference