Two-time NBA All-Star Caron Butler visited "The Herd" on Monday and recalled his first meetings with a young LeBron James while playing for the Washington Wizards.
LeBron and the Cavaliers eliminated the Wizards from the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, and Butler told Colin Cowherd that he could immediately tell that James was destined for greatness.
Caron Butler: LeBron is a guy who never ceased to amaze me
Caron Butler: “He’s going to keep coming, and he loves the challenge. Playing in Washington over the years, facing him three years in a row in the playoffs -- he’s a guy who never ceased to amaze me. And I knew he was special at a young age from just playing him in the first round of the playoffs the first time. He was just different. He saw the game differently.
"Like, in chalk talk, we would say, ‘Make him a scorer.’ He could score the ball. ‘Make him a passer.’ That was his biggest strength, facilitating and finding guys.
"You look at that run that he had with Eric Snow and Larry Hughes and guys like that, they were great in their own right, but at the same time he made them better. I’ve never seen anything like it from a guy like that. It was just special.”
Colin Cowherd: “Do you remember the first time you saw him, period?”
Caron Butler: “First time I saw him was playing against the Sacramento Kings (in his first NBA game). And I watched the game because I’m a huge hoop fan, so I just wanted to see how was he going to handle the criticism and that stage. It was special.”
Colin Cowherd: “How long before you went, ‘Oh my God?’ ”
Caron Butler: “I had to play against him first and see how did he do with the contact, you know, adjustments … on the pick-and-roll he came off of screens a lot because he was facilitating a lot. He had the ball in his hand a lot. So I wanted to see his decision-making skills … and they [were] amazing. I was like, ‘This kid got it.’ Real quick, I was like, ‘He got it.’”