Former NBA Star Rasual Butler and His Wife Dead Following Car Crash
By Desiree Murphy
Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle, died on Wednesday in a single-vehicle car accident in Studio City, California. Butler was 38, LaBelle was 31.
According to CBS Sports, the former NBA star was driving and lost control of his Range Rover around 2:30 a.m. with LaBelle in the car. Butler struck three parking meters and slammed into a wall, which caused the vehicle to flip. Both were pronounced dead at the scene, the outlet reports.
"The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle," the National Basketball Association tweeted on Wednesday. "A pro's pro, Rasual enjoyed a long, successful career and was widely respected by his peers and coaches. We grieve with their loved ones during this difficult time."
The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle.
A pro's pro, Rasual enjoyed a long, successful career and was widely respected by his peers and coaches. We grieve with their loved ones during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/zNH93MVvpM
Butler was selected by the Miami Heat with the 53rd pick of the 2002 NBA draft. Over his 14-year career with the professional league, he also played for the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs. Additionally, Butler was close friends with his former Heat teammate, Lamar Odom, and even appeared on a few seasons of Khloe & Lamar.
Butler's wife was an R&B singer, who was signed to Epic Records/So So Def Recordings and appeared on the third season of American Idol. She placed 12th in the competition.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle," a tweet from the Miami Heat read. "Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Rasual and Leah. They will be missed."
Following the tragic news, friends, fans and former teammates of Butler took to Twitter and Instagram to send their condolences. See their reactions below:
I will always remember the time we shared together as teammates, you were the big brother. I appreciate the advice you shared, not just about basketball but life. Sending my deepest condolences to the families of Rasual and Leah. May you both rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/O4RgQ47PwA
Devastated to hear the news about the passing of my former teammate, Rasual, & his wife. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families during this difficult time. Rasual was an amazing teammate and an even better person. He will truly be missed!
There is no way to process the sorrow at hearing of the passing of @RasualButler45 and his wife Leah LaBelle in a car accident early Wednesday. Rasual was one of the legit nicest guys I’ve ever dealt with, over many years & many teams. My sincere condolences to his family. RIP.