Caron Butler has emerged as a veteran leader for the struggling Bucks and will serve as the team’s NBPA representative.
The Bucks announced Monday that the team elected veteran Caron Butler as its National Basketball Players Association representative. Nate Wolters was selected as the alternate.
Each NBA team is required to elect both primary and alternate representatives who are responsible for keeping up with player and league issues and relaying that information to teammates. The NBPA generally advocates on behalf of the players and handles issues and debates surrounding the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Like Butler, most of the NBPA’s primary representatives are veterans. The 33-year-old joins other notable names in Rajon Rondo, Luol Deng, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Arron Afflalo. Wolters is among three rookies elected alternates, joining New York’s Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams. According to the NBPA’s website, a few teams are yet to elect one or both of their representatives.
From the group of representatives, a nine-player executive committee is formed. The Clippers’ Chris Paul is the current President, while Miami’s Roger Mason, Jr. and James Jones serve as the First Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively. They’re joined on the committee by six Vice Presidents – Curry (Golden State), Steve Blake (Los Angeles Lakers), Matt Bonner (San Antonio), Willie Green (Los Angeles Clippers), Andre Iguodala (Golden State) and Anthony Tolliver (Charlotte).
Aside from his election to the committee, Butler also received another distinction Monday. Larry Drew and his coaching staff selected Butler as the Bucks’ captain, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
Drew praised Butler’s leadership skills, in particular his ability to serve as a mentor to a roster with considerable youth.
“When Caron speaks, they listen,” Drew told the Journal Times. “I need a guy who commands respect in the locker room, out on the floor, during timeouts, in the huddle. I need that person.”
Butler, the only player on the roster with All-Star experience, was a captain during his years in Washington and served as co-captain (with Chris Paul) in his two seasons with the Clippers. Though he’s missed the past six games with knee swelling, Butler has been able to make an impact through his teaching and veteran leadership.
“The young guys have been very receptive,” he said. “They’re soaking up everything I’ve said and coaches have said and getting better.”
It’s unknown when Butler will return to the lineup, but reports out of practice Monday indicate he’ll miss at least another week. With the Bucks playing four games over the next six days, Butler’s streak of sitting out will likely reach double-digit contests.
Milwaukee squares off with the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday. Action tips off at 7:00 PM from the United Center with local coverage on Fox Sports Wisconsin.