It’s official.

Caron Butler’s memoir Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA will soon have a wider audience.

The two-time NBA All-Star and Sacramento Kings forward recently announced that his book has caught the attention of actor, writer and producer Mark Wahlberg, who recently bought the rights to tell Butler’s life story, reports TMZ.

While the release may be further in the future, Butler–who got the nickname Tuff Juice from former coach Eddie Jordan–is still pretty excited about the whole thing.

“I’m excited to take the next steps towards sharing my story with an even larger audience and it’s a blessing to have someone as well-known and respected as Mark Wahlberg,” Butler said in a statement.

“I wanted to tell my story because I’m living proof that it is possible to overcome adversity and make a better life for yourself and your family. The response from the book was overwhelming, and when someone like Mark Wahlberg tells you that your life could be a movie, you listen.”

Butler grew up rough in Racine, Wisconsin, and despite having a single mother who worked hard to support him, Butler told NPR that his uncles were dealers, and their income attracted him. By the time he was 11, Butler was already dealing. By the time he was 15, he’d been arrested so many times that he’d lost count.

His destiny was preordained. But sometimes the unexpected happens.

Two turning points changed his life, he told NPR in an interview following the release of his book. The first happened in jail.

“Once I got incarcerated, and I was in solitary confinement–by myself–for 23 hours a day, I got stronger mentally and physically,” he said in the NPR interview. “When I got out of that environment, I was seeing this a little differently. And I think it just hit me all at once.

I was just like, “I don’t want to live this life no more. I don’t want to do this. I lost friends in this, and I know the outcome: either I’m going to have to hurt somebody, somebody’s going to hurt me or I’m going to spend the rest of my life like this–incarcerated.”

He cleaned up. Got a job. And started playing basketball.

When he was 17, the police raided his home and found cocaine in the garage. This time it wasn’t him. He told the police he was innocent and that the drugs didn’t belong to him.

Here’s the part that seems unbelievable but is entirely true: the detective on duty let him go. Butler still can’t get his head around it, but when asked, Detective Geller, who is now his friend, said simply, that he didn’t match the description their informant provided.

“This guy showed me tremendous favor, where he could’ve just thrown me to the wolves and gave me 10 to 15 and I’m gone,” Butler said in the NPR interview.

That one moment of mercy made all the difference, and Butler is definitely not the only one who is grateful.  His life story hitting movie screens is sure to be impactful and we’re looking forward to seeing it.


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