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Original Issue

Caron Butler


On being the Wizards' disciplinarian
I'm military-style! I'm a neat freak, so I like the locker room clean. And when a guy jokes too much, I say something. I want everybody on the same page. I read people. We've got 12 guys in the locker room, and I know how to relate to all of them.

On being traded by the Heat and the Lakers in the past four years
After being traded, I'd say to myself that I would make a team pay for dealing me. But, man, I was traded for Shaq! I was part of history. [Miami coach] Pat Riley came to me and said they had a chance to get Shaq. I said I could understand that.

On having spent six months in prison on drugs and weapons charges as a teenager in Racine, Wis.
The movies dramatize it, but you have to watch out every day or you could lose your life. It was an institution of more than 5,000 criminal minds, and at any time one of them could snap and come after you. When I first started talking about my past, I used to cry because I'd never reflected on where I had come from. I never let it soak in.

On now being a special deputy to the Philadelphia Sheriff's Department
One of the sheriffs there works security for [the Wizards], and he thought I should be honored for the community work I do. I went to Philly, and they swore me in. I've got a badge. I flash it when I'm out with friends.

On working at Burger King in high school, after his time behind bars
I worked there to stay off the streets and be around positive people. I learned that if you work hard, you get a check; I liked that concept. I learned how to deal with people. You learn a lot about life working at a fast-food restaurant! I worked drive-thru, and I was so big, like 6'7", that people looked at me in the window like I was crazy. Kids came by and made fun of me, but, you know what? Look at me now.

"I'm focused and tuned in because I have to be. I can't fail."