Former NBA star and Wife killed in auto crash

Former NBA star Rasual Butler and his wife, R&B singer, Leah LaBelle Vladowsk  were killed in an auto crash crash in Los Angeles early Wednesday. The Range Rover crashed at around 2.30am (10.30am GMT) in the Studio City area and left a
swath of damage along a major thoroughfare. Los Angeles police released statement saying Butler was speeding before his vehicle jumped a curb, hit three parking meters and a concrete wall and then flipped over twice. The vehicle came to rest inside a shopping mall parking lot. Ed Winter, assistant chief investigator, with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Butler, 38, and Leah LaBelle Vladowski, 31, were pronounced dead at the scene

Butler was drafted in 2002 by the Miami Heat out of LaSalle University in his hometown of Philadelphia. He played for eight NBA teams during his 13-year career, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. He had career averages of 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds. Butler’s death shocked  the NBA community with some Team Presidents reacting to the news. ‘This is beyond a sad day for the Miami Heat Family. Rasual was one of the greatest people we have ever had play for us; a great player, teammate and better person,’ team President Pat Riley said in a statement. Indiana Pacers President Kevin Pritchard expressed a similar emotion in his statement saying,  ‘In his one season with us, Rasual was the consummate team player and a great role model for our younger players on how a professional should prepare and act, while being a positive influence on everyone who associated with him.’ 

The Clippers said Butler ‘will long be remembered not only for his accomplishments on the court, but for his vibrant personality, positive outlook and the compassion he had for everyone around him.’ He had two stints with the Clippers, in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Minnesota guard and former Clipper Jamal Crawford tweeted, ‘Damn this one hurts! RIP Rasual Butler & his wife Leah. Sounds so cliche, but Rasual was really one of the good ones!!’ Butler last signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves in late 2016 and was waived that October.