Written by: Vic Sebastian

Caron Butler recently visited Manila for a couple of days. We linked up with the Real Tuff Juice at Titan Fort to talk about the 2011 Mavs, Tuff Juice, and his favorite kicks.

// Welcome to Manila. How’s it been so far?

The weather is surprisingly well. I’m sleeping extremely well and I don’t sleep so great in new environments but I’m feeling right at home right now. I’m loving it so far and we’re having a great time.

// Let’s talk about the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, where you were part of their incredible championship run. What made that team so special?

That team was so special because we had a unique camaraderie about each other and that’s why we were successful. We were all at a point in our careers where we just wanted to see each other succeed. JKidd, Jet (Jason Terry), Dirk, everyone. All of us made the ultimate sacrifice to accomplish that.

// Who’s your favorite teammate of all time?

My favorite teammate of all time would probably be one of my favorite guys, someone I learned so much from, Kobe Bryant. We had so much in common and he’s my brother for life, even after basketball. He showed me how to be a true professional and that helped me throughout my career.

// You were called ‘Tuff Juice” back in the day. Can you tell us the story of how you got that nickname?

Those who followed me throughout my career knew I played through anything– injuries, sickness, whatever. It was something that just kinda stuck, you know? One day, Eddie Jordan (Washington Wizards Head Coach, 2003-2008) said “you one tuff mother******!” and since that day everybody kept calling me “Tuff Juice” and once that happened, it just took on a life of its own. That’s why I called my book “Tuff Juice” too.

// You wrote a book called Tuff Juice, where you talked about your journey from the streets to the NBA. There are a lot of athletes that can relate to your story. Here in our country, we got players who overcame poverty, harsh environments, or even drug addiction because of basketball. What advice would you give to those athletes that are trying to overcome certain adversities?

I always say the 3D’s: determination, dedication, and discipline. I also feel like consistency is the biggest thing. You know, people talk about work ethic and working hard on a Monday. And when the cameras are on, people work even harder. But what do you do when the camera ain’t rolling? What do you do when people are not watching? You have to be consistent whether people are looking or not. It’s the same as when you deposit a lot of money in the bank, one day you’re gonna withdraw a lot of money from the bank too. It’s all about the deposits that you put in your work ethic. At some point in your life, you’re gonna be able to withdraw from that and it’s gonna be a lot.

// Let’s talk kicks. During your playing career, what were your top 3 sneakers to ball in?

When I was in college, my favorite shoe was the [Air Jordan XI] Space Jams. Back in 2000-2001, when you go into the gym wearing the Jordan 11, it means that you were gonna put in work. You know what I’m saying? You come in with a pair of Space Jams and people were like “he can play”. I take pride in that. The Space Jams are my top shoe. Number 2, would have to be the [Nike] Foamposite. I had some of my best years in Washington wearing that shoe. Nike gave me my own version of the Foamposite and I just loved the shoe from how it felt to how it looked like on court. And number 3, the Uptempo’s. Thank you Titan for hooking me up with a fresh pair right here, Mavericks colors. Scottie Pippen had them and it was just different. That ‘AIR’ just pops out. So nice.

// What about the kicks you rock off the court?

I’m a Nike guy so I’ve always been big on the Air Force 1’s. It’s an amazing shoe and goes well with anything you wear.

// 2018 NBA Champs, who you got?

Listen, the Golden State Warriors won last year. They’re gonna win it again this year, and the year after that. That’s a 3-peat. Shout-out to my guy KD for winning a ring!