Is Caron Butler Dirty Like Kobe Bryant? | Wizards Blog Truth About

Is Caron Butler Dirty Like Kobe Bryant?

Updated: March 28, 2008

I hate to bring up that terrible Wizards loss to Portland. Ok, I already did in my Pac-NW recap. In any case, the honor of Caron Butler must be defended. So, I will attempt to quell any thoughts of Caron being a dirty player….like one Kobe Bryant.

In the live game blog on Bullets Forever, this is what I said:

Funny play to end the [Update: it happened at the end of the 1st, I originally had 2nd] quarter…Caron attempts a 3 at the buzzer, he misses…it looks like Roy goes into him, they both go down hard. But Caron gets right up, Baby Brandon needs the trainer to come help him. The replay shows that Caron “might” have grabbed Roy.

In the comments section, ItsMrHarris2u wrote this:

Baby Brandon just had his season ended by a Kobe wanna-be attempt to draw a foul. Pathetic play that shows alot about Coran. You NEVER grab someone and pull them down. What a POS.

Let’s remember, as the Oregonian reminds us, that Brandon Roy was already hurt before the play in question: [UPDATE: As pointed out in the comments section, I was wrong. Roy’s groin was not previously hurt. The play with Caron came at the end of the 1st quarter….for some reason I thought it happened before the half.]

Roy left the game at the end of the first quarter with a right groin strain, then returned midway through the second quarter, only to leave again for good minutes later after aggravating the injury.

Mike Barrett of the “official” Blazers Blog doesn’t call Caron dirty, but does place the onus on Butler:

Caron Butler went up for a shot, and in an effort to create a foul on the play, locked arms with Brandon Roy. It pulled Roy into a very awkward landing, and being he didn’t let up until Roy was already bent in half with his right leg tucked under him, it caused an injury to Roy’s right groin muscle.

My Response:

My “baby” comment was more referencing youth than attitude. I am a fan of Brandon Roy and I definitely do not like seeing the guy get injured.

It’s hard to tell from the side angle if it’s truly what everyone thinks it is, a “Kobe-esque” move by Caron.

I will tell you this about Caron, he’s not the traditional “hold your follow through” type of shooter. This video is the best example I could find without wasting too much time: Caron draining 5 straight threes against the Mavericks. Notice how quickly his arms retreat to his hips after the release. Now, factor in that Butler’s shot against Roy was at the buzzer, when players are more likely to pull the string on the release.

The highlights from show both the side and the back angle, which is much more definitive. I’ve watched the clip dozens of times and have tried my damndest to capture a screen shot to no avail. However, you should be able to watch it here.

Here is what I saw with my own eyes:

After the release, Caron Butler’s left arm drifts off to his left side, gravity pulls it towards his hip. Brandon Roy, attempting to block the shot, has the momentum of his left arm (and body) going to the right (Roy’s right) and in the opposite direction that Caron Butler is facing.

That’s the obvious foul which is called: Brandon Roy’s arm making contact and going through Caron Butler’s off hand. Easy to see. But does, as the announcer comments on the clip, Caron Butler “grab” Brandon Roy. At face value, most would say yes….and at regular speed, it looks very questionable.

Before I proceed, let me remind everyone that Caron Butler is playing with an injury to his LEFT wrist; a chipped bone somewhere in there. It’s only natural for a player to protect his injury when playing.

Now go back and look at the clip. Brandon Roy’s arm comes dangerously close to making direct contact with Butler’s left wrist. One could argue that he does make contact with the left wrist, but I’m not sure….you’d have to ask Caron.

Knowing this, the actions of Caron Butler seem much more clear. He is trying to instinctively pull his wrist back to protect it when both players get inadvertently tangled. No part of the clip leads me to believe that Caron intentionally grabbed Brandon Roy. And I’m not sure how Mike Barrett expected Caron to “let up” as Butler tried to dive on the floor away from Roy, after Roy knocked him off-balance.

Would Brandon Roy have injured groin if he didn’t commit the foul by making initial contact with Butler?


Brandon Roy’s take: “It was just a freak play,” Roy said. “His body weight fell on me and pushed me pretty far down.”

“Mister” Harris and all the other false accusers out there owe Tuff Juice an apology. Please keep the names Caron Butler and Kobe Bryant together in the same sentence, out your mouth.

Lesson Learned: Brandon Roy shouldn’t have beaten Caron’s butt in NBA Live. [video]

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • Dean

    When I think dirty, I think more of Karl Malone leading with his knee or Bill Laimbeer and company attacking opponents mid-air with no regard on making a play on the ball. I agree that those were bad plays by Kobe but he was trying more to draw a foul rather than injure someone so dirty is a stretch. Kobe makes bad decisions at times and can be a baby, but he isn’t dirty. The Caron play on the other hand looks more like a freak play of an injured-wristed Caron reacting akwardly to Brandon Roy tightly contesting his shot. Apples and oranges in my book.

  • Old Man Stubborn

    I would have to disagree dean. I have heard from more than a few guys who think that Kobe is borderline dirty. He tends to hide his dirty little elbows and knees, but he can get downright dirty when he needs to.

    In this instance, I think that Caron should get the benefit of the doubt, especially if Brandon Roy is giving the guy a pass.

    My only thought is that you never know exactly how dirty a guy is until you see him blatantly get caught doing the dirt (Al la Chris Paul punching Julius Hodge in the junk during Hodges’ final home game at NC State.)

  • callen4

    The thing that you are mistaken is that the play was at the end of the FIRST quarter, not second. Roy tried to come back in the second, but could hardly walk, all of this due to the play where Butler fell on him. Roy did not have a previous groin injury, it was caused by this play. Personally I think Butler was trying to draw a foul, and ended up injuring Roy. It could have been prevented, and was a slightly dirty play. Not as bad as Kobe though.

  • Truth About It

    You’re right….It was at the end of the first quarter. I did a live blog of the game, yet still got it confused.

    Was Caron attempting to draw a foul? Perhaps. But if that is a dirty play, then we might be going down the slippery slope whereas every time someone throws a pump-fake and then tries to jump into a defender, it’s labeled the same.

    Of course, I really don’t like that type of play either.

    But watching it over and over again, Roy’s arm made contact with Caron’s first – it’s not like Butler came out of his release and then put his arm in the path of an oncoming Brandon Roy.

  • Tom

    The very 1st thing BRoy does when he gets up is look to the ref and say, “he grabbed me and pulled me down”.

    This is a dirty play, that resulted in a season ending injury. Caron and Kobe have a lot in common. No apology here.


  • Truth About It

    Looks like an “agree to disagree” scenario.

    But just because Brandon Roy says it, doesn’t mean it’s true.

    Butler doesn’t have the history of a Bruce Bowen, a Kobe Bryant, or even a Reggie Evans….so I think the general consensus would be to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    I reviewed the play many times and still believe what I believe.

  • Anonymous

    eating a doughnut doesn’t make you a cop, and one dirty play doesn’t make you a dirty player. I won’t say that Caron is a dirty player, he has no history of it, but that was a dirty play that had an avoidable result.

    and you can’t justify it by your conclusion,

    “Would Brandon Roy have injured groin if he didn’t commit the foul by making initial contact with Butler?


    You can’t put the blame on the defender. Was it Kobe or Bowen who was at fault in the video above? Hell, maybe it was Roy’s wifes fault for letting him leave the house this morning.

    -Blazer Fan