Very sad news today out of the sports world:
Rasual Butler, a veteran former NBA shooting guard who played for eight teams over the course of his career, died this morning in a one-car accident.
He was 38 years old.
According to TMZ, the fatal crash took place around 2 a.m. in Studio City, California after Butler lost control of his Range Rover.
The vehicle reportedly flipped over, struck a parking meter and crashed into a wall.
No official report has been filed, but police believe the car was speeding prior to the accident.
Butler’s wife, Leah LaBelle, also died in the wreck.
A singer signed to Epic Record, she finished in 12th place on season three of American Idol back in 2004.
Here is a picture of the late couple:
Butler was drafted in the second round by the Miami Heat in 2002.
He finished his career with a three-point shooting percentage of 36, while averaging 7.5 points per game.
He last played in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs in 2016 and last played at all professionally for Ice Cube’s BIG3 league just last year.
In response to the tragic news, current and former NBA players took to Twitter in order to express their condolences.
Wrote Matt Barnes: “Rip to the homie Rasual Butler & his wife!! Condolences to the butler family & friends. Damn Bro.”
And Marcin Gortat: “Omg….. RIP Rasual Butler :(( terrible News.”
And Marcus Camby: “Rip my brother.”
And Damon Jones: “RIP @RasualButler45!! GOD please be with his kids and family during this difficult time!”
LaBelle, meanwhile, rose to viral fame by sharing a number of cover videos on YouTube.
She auditioned for American Idol in New York City, at the age of 17 singing “I Believe in You and Me”, a song popularized by Whitney Houston.
The aspiring artist received a golden ticket to Hollywood, meaning she was one of the more impressive hopefuls early on.
In the end, however, LaBelle fell just short of making the Top 10, which would have earned her a spot in the live performance episodes.
She was brought back for the wild card show and was selected by Paula Abdul to advance to the finals.
After performing during the Top 12’s soul Week, LaBelle received the lowest amount of votes and was eliminated from the show, thereby not qualifying for the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2004.
May both LaBelle and Butler rest in peace.