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Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  301 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Two-time All-Star and thirteen-year NBA veteran Caron Butler has an impressive basketball record. He was Big East Co-Player of the Year at UConn, the 10th overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft and a key player for the Dallas Mavericks in their championship-winning season in 2011. But before Butler had a chance to prove himself on the court, he spent his time trying to prove h ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 7th 2015 by Lyons Press (first published September 24th 2015)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  301 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Gabe G
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gabes-books
It was a pretty good book. It was really descriptive about how Caron and how he battled his struggles in his child to becoming a high draft pick in the NBA Draft
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tuff Juice by Caron Butler is a very well written book that informed me on a large amount of struggles in the life of Caron Butler. There are many reoccurring topics and themes this book goes over, things that are very important to understand in our day in age. Since there was so many interesting and on edge situations being introduced it kept me reading for a long time without stopping because of being tired. The most shocking part of the book is the fact that Caron was a young child when he h ...more
Deogratias Rweyemamu
I’ve read a few basketball biographies. While this doesn’t particularly stand out, I was still able to enjoy it nonetheless.

It’s always illuminating to get a chance to hear firsthand account of basketball player’s life, from growing up to making it into the NBA.

Caron’s story like of many African-Americans, is one of struggle and endless trials. He traces his struggles across 3 generations. I have often been tempted to to downplay some of the battles African-Americans face, but Caron’s
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Caron Butler is a real-life success story, proving that one can escape the world of drugs and gangs and become successful in a different occupation. In his case, it was basketball where once he was noticed on the court instead of on the street, he became a huge success. His story of hope and the power of love from family is his autobiography “Tuff Juice.”

He was born in Mississippi, but spent most of youth in Racine, Wisconsin as his mother and grandmother found good paying jobs by migrati
John Neslusan
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Former NBA star Caron Butler was a great player but had to through much adversity to get there. Caron’s accolades include Big East Co-Player of the Year in college, 2-time All-star, and NBA champion with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Before NBA fame, Butler was affiliated with gangs and was a drug dealer in the Milwaukee area. Butler witnessed many of his close friends die in the streets and he was arrested many times. Butler talks about the importance his mother and coaches were to him when he ...more
B.T. Hogan
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Page 247 of 295: that's when it finally gets to Butler's career in the NBA.

Which is not to say that his tough/tuff childhood in gang and drug-filled Racine, WI wasn't interesting and inspiring reading - it definitely was - but I think a 14 year pro career with as many ups and downs as Caron's should've been given more than 48 pages in a 300 page autobiography.

David Folz
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredibly inspirational book. It forms all of Caron Butler's life and it is very insightful. It is an inspirational book for many if they want to overcome obstacles in their life like he did. I am very impressed by his way of being able to explain everything from childhood to current day. Complete fan of the book. ...more
Rajat Jain
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was Inspiring to know Caron Butler from Tuff Juice, How Caron has come out of failures and is an exemplary for mankind. Man of power, charity, wealth, kindness and love. How Caron has come out of poverty to 2 times NBA champion and a multi-millionaire and is now businessman and philanthrophist.

Inspiring read!
David Barney
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. Great story of hanging in there, working through difficult times and getting a break that greatly changed his life. At times as I read this book, it was depressing. Yet, Caron Butler persevered. Great story and wonderful example to many people.
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good

Pretty good book. Caron talks about the many obstacles he had to overcome to make it out of the hood. Then goes on to discuss his path from college to the NBA. Interesting and well written. 4 stars.
Nik Martinskis
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most inspiring books I have ever read.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down after I purchased it! Read this book - very well put together and interesting to say the least. Caron is an amazing person, with an amazing story. ...more
Adam Kanter
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Inspirational and keeps you wanting to read, fantastic.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow...amazing story

Caron’s no non-sense and straight-forward account of his story is inspiring. His perseverance despite all the obstacles is truly remarkable.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dope comeback story.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very inspirational

More people need to help one another - find your passion and build a life for yourself and others - Reading this - Caron made me rethink my beliefs!
David Hughey
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
- Locker room gun situation w/Arenas (204-206)

- Injured but on Mavs 2011 championship team

- On Lob City Clipper teams

- On KD MVP Thunder team
Mateo Fisher
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book after reading an excerpt in the Player's Tribune. Caron Butler has had a very good NBA career with some stellar seasons, but he's enough of a nomad and not quite famous enough that I doubt anyone other than an NBA die hard would pick up this book. At the same time, NBA die hards might be disappointed by the lack of NBA insider stories (while the book is worth it for the Washington incident alone, that really is the only true inside look). Most of the book follows Butl ...more
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
The unique autobiography of an NBA player that is both active and not a star. Keeping that in mind, Butler and his co-author focus mostly on his time growing up in Racine.

Being an autobiography the story is a bit dry at times, given that the plot is a bit pre-ordained (troubled youth finds god and becomes NBA star). Obvious threads are left untouched, like what about his daughter that was born while he was in jail? How did distancing himself from his past life really go once he reached the leagu
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-7th-english
I would recommend this book for basketball fans and players. It really shows how much work is put into the game to get to the NBA. Although it is an inspirational and meaningful book, I would not recommend this book for younger children, because it has some mature words and content. Tuff Juice is written by Caron Butler along with Steve Springer. It is about Caron Butler's life from childhood to the NBA.

Although Caron Butler made bad decisions and was in tough situations, some of his personal
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As an NBA fan, this book caught my attention immediately, i had just to start reading it (and read Kobe Bryant's foreword (I'm a hardcore L.A Lakers fan), to know that i would love this book, and i wasn't wrong.

This book would be entertaining even if you weren't an NBA fan, it's the story of Caron Butler , a player selected 10th in the NBA draft, but who many years ago was in the brink of living a really different life, and that's because he was selling drugs since he was 11 years old. Is a stor
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it
much more detail on the "streets" part than the "NBA" part of the title --- indeed, basically races through his long NBA career with only a few paragraphs for some of the teams on which he has played, though there is a fairly detailed rundown of the Crittendon/Arenas guns-in-the-locker-room incident with the Wizards.

Mainly a recap of his rough life growing up amidst violence and drug dealing [incl. his own] in Racine, Wisconsin, his time as a prisoner incl. solitary confinement, and how a compas
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Being from Caron's home town, I felt I really needed to support our local talent!

Please read this book and support the HOPE that his words may give an at risk youth.

I was made aware of many things I didn't know. I grew up on the North side of Racine, WI. I had no idea that some of the things happening on the South side, were real. Reading all the things that happened, and that he was involved with, made for a great read!

Caron is really a very down to earth, Humble man. I've been at the local Ra
Jacob O'connor
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Being a sports fan is all about hope. I've suffered some miserable seasons as a Miami Heat fan, and hope was all I had. Like when we drafted "Baby Jordan" or signed John Salley. "Now we'll turn it around (not quite)!" Hope really hit when we got Pat Riley, Alonzo Mourning, and Tim Hardaway. When knee injuries and kidney disease ended that era, hope was at a premium. It came when we drafted Caron Butler. The couple years we had with him were some of the most fun I've had as a Heat fan.

Tuff Juice
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Great life story. Glad Caron decided to write this book. He is very frank and matter-of-fact about his background and past troubles. I think it is neat that he still keeps up relations with those in his troubled past. You always hear stories about people who escape a past and leave it behind. But Caron embraces his childhood relations, maintains connections without getting pulled back in.... and works to pull people up. This guy was a couple possessions from sending UConn to the final four. Lite ...more
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book has gotten a lot of press around basketball circles, and after reading this I understand why.
This is a very powerful read. And excellently done too.
This is not your typical narcissistic, ego-centered auto-biography that you come across all too often. Butler spends much of his time discussing the trials and tribulations of his family and friends as much as himself. And this book is written more as a way to serve as an inspirational means to people of the same demographic as himself.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From a lifetime Uconn fan

I saw my first Uconn game in 1954 and have followed the Mens and,Women's teams ever since. However I worked in Switzerland during Caron's time in Ct and never learned very much about him. This book is well written and touched me very deeply. I am from a small and mostly white town in Ct, Portland, and have never experienced anything described in this book; but I was able to taste it from the words. Congratulations to a great man and I hope many others share this experien
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story of Caron Butler's childhood. It is unbelievable what he experienced as a kid and what he become later - both on basketball court and in personal life. I knew that he had a rough chiledhood, but I never thought it was this hars... Respect to him.

I wish if there were a bit more NBA inside stories about him and teams he played in. With that part it would be 5/5, now I would say 4.5/5, but I gave it 5 stars from utmost respect for him.
Elan Dimapilis
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tuff Juice by Caron Butler has helped me understand that nothing comes easy, and informed me about the struggles people go through to be an NBA all star. The journey that Caron Butler went through made me want to read more. When Caron was young, he had to deal with situations involving poverty and gangs. As Caron grows older, he becomes more aware and mature which forces him to grow up quicker and lose his childhood. I would recommend this book to anyone who makes something out of nothing.
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Life is all about making decisions. You choose your path.

Mr. Butler, you're an inspiration and I'm glad you shared your story. Life is what you make from it.

Hope I can run into you in LA one of these days and tell you in person. I'd love to help volunteer for one of your organizations helping the community.
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