Caron Butler may have only played for the Los Angeles Lakers for a single season, but the connection that he made to the community will last a lifetime. Butler had something of a nomadic NBA career, playing for nine different franchises, but he made a lasting impression on those around him and continues to do so in his post-basketball endeavors.
Earlier this month, Butler joined forces with the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation to host an ice cream social for pediatric patients at the Children’s Hospital Of Los Angeles. Patients and their families were treated to a fully-stocked ice cream bar as well as a number of family-friendly activities.
Butler spoke about his involvement and why the event was so important to him, via a press release from Smart and Final:
“This is something that mirrors what I’ve been all about my whole career and obviously post-career. Getting out in the community, having hands-on experience with the children and obviously just enhancing their lives, and that is exactly what the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation is doing.”
Lakers fans will remember that Butler was one of the key pieces in the trade that sent Shaquille O’Neal to the Miami Heat. Butler, along with Lamar Odom and Brian Grant, joined a Laker team that was in a state of transition after parting ways with one of the most dominant big men of all time.
Legendary guard Kobe Bryant developed a fast friendship with Butler, but the hard-working small forward was still traded to the Washington Wizards along with guard Chucky Atkins in exchange for Kwame Brown and Laron Profit the following summer.
Despite his relatively short stay in Los Angeles, Butler’s commitment to helping the youth of the community is commendable. There are bigger things in life than basketball, and both Butler and Smart & Final are using their resources to make a positive impact in children’s lives.