The title of Caron Butler’s autobiography, “Tuff Juice,” is sure to make people curious. So that readers don’t need to wade 202 pages into the book, here’s the explanation. Butler’s former NBA coach, Eddie Jordan, of the Washington Wizards, bestowed the nickname, calling his star forward “one tough dude,” then altering adapting the expression “you got the juice now” used when someone is on a roll to describe Butler. The journey that he had to make to achieve basketball success both at the University of Connecticut and currently in the pros with the Sacramento Kings was most challenging as a gang member and drug dealer in Racine, Wis., where he was arrested multiple times before age 15. Today he is a dedicated father who is active in youth outreach in his hometown.
Here’s an excerpt from Tuff Juice:
“I played basketball every day in Ethan Allen [part of a juvenile detention facility in Wisconsin]. We had a league in which all twelve cottages played against each other, and we had a prison team that faced other correctional facilities.
“Every cottage had its own full basketball court in front with a key painted on the concrete. That was it. We didn’t have any refs. We called our own fouls, but in reality, the only thing we called was out-of-bounds. Other than that, there was no such thing as a foul.
“We played five-on-five with the winner being the first team to 21 points. We’d play for money when we had it, or soda, chips, and other goodies to take back to our cells. I was good enough to almost always win.”