Ex-NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, who appeared “American Idol,” were both killed in a car crash Wednesday morning, Jan. 31. Butler was 38.
Butler, who played for the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, and other teams, died in a single-vehicle crash in Southern California, USA Today reported, citing the Los Angeles County coroner’s department.
NBA player Rasual Butler and wife Leah LaBelle killed in LA car crash https://t.co/3gVu8DkZra
— The Independent (@Independent) January 31, 2018
He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash that took place at around 2:30 a.m. local time. Butler lost control of his Range Rover, which hit a wall and rolled over. The car also hit several parking meters.
The female driver was later identified as his wife, Leah LaBelle, who is a singer that appeared on the third season of “American Idol.” She was 31.
Butler stopped playing in 2016, finishing with the San Antonio Spurs. USA Today asked him in 2014 why he persisted. “Because I wanted to play basketball. It’s very easy. It’s a simple answer. If you’re serious about doing what you love to do, then you’re going to do whatever it takes for you to continue to do what you love to do,” he said.
A number of NBA players expressed grief over his death.
Come on man. Damn. The world just lost a great dude. RIP Rasual “Bop” Butler! https://t.co/tufRq2H3AI
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 31, 2018
You gotta be kidding me right now….
This is a sad day man!!! R.i.p sual bop!!
True legend in my eyes !!! Damn I’m really hurt right now… damn man!!
— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) January 31, 2018
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Rasual and Leah. They will be missed. pic.twitter.com/djezmpHd5h
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 31, 2018
Our entire organization is deeply saddened after learning of the death of former Pacers player Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. pic.twitter.com/ezdVkM12PG
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 31, 2018
Rip to the homie Rasual Butler & his wife!! Condolences to the butler family & friends. Damn Bro ???
— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) January 31, 2018
Rest easy my brother. See you when I get there!!! pic.twitter.com/Npsnib7k5t
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) January 31, 2018