Who Is Rasual Butler? Former NBA Player, Wife Leah LaBelle Died in Car Crash: Report

Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, singer Leah LaBelle, died in a car crash Wednesday.

According to a report from TMZ Sports, Butler lost control of his Range Rover while driving in Los Angeles at about 2 a.m. Wednesday. He crashed into a parking meter and wall and flipped the vehicle. 

Butler was 38 years old, LaBelle was 31.

Butler was a longtime NBA journeyman who had an extended career as a role player. After a collegiate career at Philadelphia's La Salle University, he was selected in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat. He'd go on to play for the Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs. Butler last played in the NBA in the 2015-16 season, but he did appear recently in the BIG3 basketball league alongside famous former pros like Allen Iverson.

Over his career, Butler averaged 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game over his career. His best season came in 2009-10 with the Clippers, when he averaged close to 12 points per game.

GettyImages-481343654 NBA player Rasual Butler (L) and singer Leah LaBelle attend The Players' Awards presented by BET at the Rio Hotel & Casino on July 19, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for BET

Asked in 2015 about how he was able to stay in the league for so long, Butler attributed his longevity to his faith and a deep devotion to the sport.

"I love the game of basketball, I feel this is what I'm supposed to do," he told Fox San Antonio. "I just love what I do." 

LaBelle was a singer who competed in the third season of American Idol in 2004. Even though she didn't win the singing competition, LaBelle built a following on YouTube and eventually signed with Epic Records. Her single "Sexify," released in 2012, has garnered more than 1.3 million views on YouTube.

Tributes for Butler and LaBelle flooded social media, with fans and fellow pros remembering him as a consummate professional who left a lasting, positive impression on everyone who met him. 

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle," tweeted the Heat. "Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Rasual and Leah. They will be missed."

Former teammate and current San Antonio Spur LaMarcus Aldridge said he was "devastated" by the news. "Rasual was an amazing teammate and an even better person. He will truly be missed!" he tweeted.