For San Antonio Spurs forward Da’Sean Butler, the biggest improvement he could make over the off-season would be to restore himself to full health. After the horrific knee injury he sustained in the NCAA tournament against Duke on April 3, 2010, Butler remains an unknown as to what his potential can be in the Association.
Butler is a 23-year-old, 6’7, 230lbs shooting guard-small forward from the University of West Virginia. He had the most wins in school history - 107. As a senior, he averaged 17.2 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, and 3.1 assists. He was drafted 42 by the Miami Heat in 2010. After he was unable to effectively make the squad, the Heat cut him on October 25, 2010.
Butler wondered if any NBA teams would give him a chance to prove himself once he was healthy? The call came from the number one team in the league - at the time - the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs signed Butler on March 25, 2011 and immediately sent him to Austin to continue his rehabilitation with the Austin Toros.
On April 5, 2011, one of our staff members from our affiliate site, TorosNation.com, Mikkayla Guillet got an exclusive interview with Butler as he had just arrived in Austin.
Guillet asked Butler what it was like to be called upon by the Spurs?
His feelings were, “joy.” “It was good to see another team actually wanted me,” said Butler.
Guillet asked Butler what he could bring to the squad, “youth and younger legs,” Butler told her. Her last question was whether or not his knee could hold up in the NBA, Butler simply responded, “I have no idea?”
Butler never played a minute in Austin, nor did he ever get a lick of playing time through the remainder of the 2011 Spurs season. After the Spurs were sent home in six games of the first round by the Memphis Grizzlies, Joe Alexander of the San Antonio Express News caught up with Butler.
Butler first told Alexander of his motivation to make it in the NBA,
“I love to play basketball, and I love to prove people wrong,” Butler said. “This is something I’ve been praying and leading to do during the last year. I’m close now.”