On Monday 2 October, the basketball forward showed up to the NBA equivalent of picture day sporting an “emo” look with straightened hair, nose, lip and eyebrow piercings, and his fingernails painted black.
When asked about his new ensemble, Butler reportedly said that it’s his “emo” look.
“I’m feeling this,” Butler said, according to the AP. “I’m very emotional right now. This is my emo state and I like this. This is me. This is how I’ve been feeling as of late.”
Butler’s new appearance seemed to take his teammates by surprise. Fellow Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo thought he was being lied to when he was shown a picture of Butler’s straightened hair and pierced face.
“Ain’t no way that’s him,” Adebayo said, per the Sun Sentinel. “What is wrong with him? That’s not real. He’s just misunderstood.”
However, it seems that his emo look may be part of an ongoing prank. Before meeting with reporters and photographers, Butler could be heard telling himself not to “break character”. The basketball star also has a long history of trolling when it comes to Media Day. Butler went viral when he showed up in dreadlocks to last year’s Media Day, in an effort that his new hairstyle would appear in promotional materials for the rest of the NBA season.
This time around, fans have appeared to catch on to Butler’s elaborate tradition.
“Jimmy has to be the funniest person to be around, effortless,” wrote one fan on ESPN’s TikTok.
“I love that he’s light-hearted and has a sense of humour,” said someone else, while another fan agreed: “I love that he has such a funny sense of humour!”
Miami Heat begins its NBA season with five preseason games starting 10 October and 82 regular-season contests through 14 April 2024.