Caron Butler

The pregame ceremony was brief but heartfelt for Caron Butler , as well as for his former team, the Mavericks.

Butler received his NBA championship ring prior to Monday night’s game between the Mavericks and his current team, the Clippers.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle took the public address microphone and reminded the American Airlines Center crowd of the “gruesome” patellar tendon injury in Milwaukee that sidelined Butler last January. Carlisle described how Butler pushed his kneecap back into place and hobbled off the court.

“At that moment, the guy was a legend for life, for me,” Carlisle told the crowd.

Carlisle then introduced Butler as “a Maverick for life” and handed him his ring. Butler was clearly emotional as he stared at the ring, kissed it and acknowledged the cheering crowd. Butler then hugged Carlisle and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

– Reported by Brad Townsend of theĀ Dallas Morning News