SAN ANTONIO – Spurs point guard Patty Mills paid tribute in a video to Rasual Butler after learning his former teammate and wife, Leah LaBelle, were both killed in a car crash Wednesday morning in a Los Angeles suburb.
The heartfelt video was shared on Mills’ Twitter page with the caption “My brother Sual,” showing the pair dressed as Santa for local kids as part of the Spurs holidays segments.
In the video, Butler and Mills are seen playing basketball with children, and Rasual shows the kids that Santa can dunk.
When asked if Mills has ever seen Santa dunk, he responds: “I have, actually, about 20 minutes ago. That was the best thing ever. The looks on the kids' faces when Santa (Butler) dunked was pretty amazing.”
The video ends with Butler and Mills gifting presents to the kids and chanting to the cameras “Go Spurs Go, ho ho ho, Merry Christmas” for the 2015 holidays.
Other current Spurs players took to social media to offer their condolences to Butler’s family.
Devastated to hear the news about the passing of my former teammate, Rasual, & his wife. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families during this difficult time. Rasual was an amazing teammate and an even better person. He will truly be missed!— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) January 31, 2018
Still in shock about my brother Rasual. Great positive person. We lost a good one— Rudy Gay (@RudyGay) January 31, 2018
Smh Rip Bop man learned a lot from you! Leah was such a nice person. Devastated by the news!! 😪😪😪 https://t.co/jMyRGEgRtV— SLOWMO (@KyleAnderson5) January 31, 2018
I’m hurt man, still in shock, I don’t believe it...not you, you were too good man...feels like I… https://t.co/IcqhLAjYiI— Danny Green (@DGreen_14) January 31, 2018
On Wednesday, the Spurs released a statement following the passing of Butler.
“We’ve lost two special people in Leah LaBelle and Rasual Butler. Our hearts, prayers and condolences are with their families and friends. Rasual was a wonderful man, friend and teammate. His positive attitude, his professionalism and his warm smile made Rasual a joy to be around. All of us will miss Rasual and Leah a great deal,” the Spurs said in the statement.
Butler signed with the silver and black before the start of the 2015-16 season and played 46 games for San Antonio before he was waived on March 9, 2016.
It was his final season after playing 14 years in the NBA.