“It’s been a great ride and truly a blessing,” Butler wrote. “But everything runs its course, even good things. Today, I’m retiring from the NBA.”
Butler, who will turn 38 next month, was selected by the Heat with the 10th overall pick in the 2002 draft and spent two years in Miami before being traded to the Lakers. The former UConn standout ultimately played for seven more NBA teams, joining the Wizards, Mavericks, Clippers, Bucks, Thunder, and Pistons before spending his last NBA season with the Kings in 2015/16.
In 881 career regular season games, Butler averaged 14.1 PPG and 5.0 RPG, racking up 12,430 points over the course of his 14 NBA seasons. The two-time All-Star also appeared in 65 postseason games, winning a title with the Mavericks in 2011, though he was unable to suit up for Dallas during those playoffs due to an injury.
After joining ESPN as a college basketball analyst in the fall, Butler said today in his Players’ Tribune article that he plans to remain involved in the game even though his days as a player are over.
“Playing in the NBA was a dream — I got to spend 16 years with all of these great teammates and coaches,” Butler wrote. “It was better than I ever could’ve imagined. I may be retiring from the game, but I’ll stay close to it. I’ll be around it in some form or another. “