​​Caron Butler says he left his ankle monitor at home to play in AAU tournament that helped jump-start his career

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Former Miami Heat wing Caron Butler revealed a crazy story about how his basketball career took off when he was still playing in AAU tournaments.

Butler explained on the “All The Smoke” podcast that he actually wasn’t supposed to play in a tournament that allowed his basketball journey to take off because he was on probation and not allowed to be out of the state.

Instead, Butler went to the tournament and played great, leading to his parole officer finding out that he committed the violation.

“My first tournament where I really got recognized was the Peach Jam,” Butler said. “I wasn’t even supposed to be there. It’s still going because it’s a major tournament, but I wasn’t even supposed to be there. One, I was on probation. Two, I had a bracelet. I was not supposed to be there.

“So I took the bracelet off. I left the bracelet in the house, so they thought I was still in the region. And I went to a tournament. Played in it. And I got on. So the headlines in the paper was like, ‘This kid has arrived.’ And my P.O. was like, ‘You wasn’t even supposed to be out the state.’ So that was an issue. Did seven days for that. My basketball story took off from that moment, though.”

Butler went on to play for the University of Connecticut and legendary coach Jim Calhoun for two collegiate seasons. At UConn, Butler was a two-time All-Big East selection and took home a share of the Big East Player of the Year award in the 2001-02 season.

Butler averaged 20.3 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting from the field at UConn in his sophomore season, leading to him being selected by Miami with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.

A two-time All-Star in his NBA career, Butler went off in his rookie season, averaging 15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in 78 games for the Heat. He was an All-Rookie selection that season.

Butler ended up only playing two seasons for the Heat. He played for several teams in his NBA career, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings.

An NBA champion with Dallas in the 2010-11 season, Butler appeared in 29 games for the Mavs in the regular season on their way to an NBA Finals win over the Heat. He last played in the NBA during the 2015-16 season.

Butler took a major risk by violating his probation to play in the AAU tournament, but it ended up paying off for his college and professional career. He may not have gotten the same recognition without playing so well in that tournament.

Now, Butler’s career has come full circle, as he’s an assistant coach for the Heat on Erik Spoelstra’s staff. The Heat are hoping Butler can help this year’s team by using the knowledge he built up over his lengthy NBA career.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.