Three of our current basketball staff members were fortunate enough to spend time with Rasual Butler during his tenure with the Indiana Pacers at NBA Summer League as well as throughout the 2013-14 season. He left a lasting impression on them all.
Mad Ants Director of Basketball Operations, Chris Taylor, was working in the Pacers Front Office at the time, and picked Butler up at the airport upon his initial arrival to Indianapolis before the 2013 Orlando Summer League. This brief amalgamation was something Taylor knew was the beginning of a genuine friendship. Throughout the ’13-14 season with the Pacers, Taylor spent a lot of time with Butler in preparation for such a strenuous time for players.
“Sual was the consummate professional and a true veteran leader on that team. It was a very talented Pacers team and he was a voice everyone listened to in the locker room. We were all lucky to have spent time around him. He was always open to sharing wisdom or lending advice he learned along his NBA journey.
“He taught me a great deal about the game, and I will always cherish the many discussions we had together—touching on every facet of the NBA, but also life. Both he and Leah will be dearly missed,” Taylor said.
Mad Ants Head Coach Steve Gansey, who helped coach Butler during the Orlando Summer League in 2013, echoed those same sentiments.
“Rasual was a guy that people just wanted to be around all the time. He was a true professional and approached his daily routine with focus and gave it his all,” Gansey said. “It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with Rasual. Our prayers and condolences go out to his family and friends.”
Assistant Coach Jhared Simpson was the Pacers Assistant Video Coordinator during the 2013-14 season and logged many hours with Butler on the court in practice and breaking down game film off the court.
“Today’s news is shocking and we are all saddened to hear of the passing of Rasual. He was a player that adored the game of basketball, was a true professional and a great teammate,” Simpson said. “He had an infectious smile that made everyone around him feel good. He will be missed and it was an honor to be in the company of someone who approached the game and enjoyed life as he did.”
The entire Mad Ants organization offer our deepest condolences to Rasual and his wife’s family.