NBA-Star's Real-Life Rags-to-Riches Story

Caron Butler, NBA star and entrepreneur, on how he was able to turn his life around, from humble beginnings and multiple arrests to player for the Phoenix Suns and franchise owner.

NBA Star’s Franchise Slam Dunk


A drug dealer at age 11 who went on to have fifteen arrests by the age of 15, Caron Butler is an unlikely business owner – let alone an NBA star.

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But the Phoenix Suns’ player was able to turn his life around, he says, by surrounding himself with good people and going for the “for-sure things.”

Butler says being incarcerated helped him turn over a fresh page.

“When I got out, I wanted to be a success story and make [my mother and grandmother] proud,” says Butler.

To that end, Butler took his institutional knowledge of Burger King (he worked there for two years at the drive-thru and on the boiler-steamer) and became a franchise owner, today running six Burger King locations.

“I learned the ins and outs of the restaurant industry. And then, from a basketball standpoint, coming from humble beginnings and going through adversity early, I learned to appreciate the value of a dollar, and the work and sweat behind it,” says Butler.

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Now that he’s successful, he says he’s learned the value of saying ‘no’ when people come to him for favors or approach him with business ideas.

“I stick with [Burger King] and things that I believe in,” says Butler.

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