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Miami Heat Media Day

Source: Sam Navarro / Getty

Jimmy Butler has had many hairstyles over his NBA career, from a classic lowcut to braids to twists to faux locks. But this year at the Miami Heat’s Media Day, he debuted a look that had social media and the sports world talking.

Butler showed up to media day with painted fingernails, new lip and eyebrow piercings, and a silk press, a departure, to say the least, from most of the looks we’ve seen from him so far. GQ talked to his hairstylist, Florence Lawson, to share what she was tasked with getting the 6-foot-7 forward camera ready for Media Day.

Lawson said even she was surprised by Butler’s request for a new look.

“Jimmy said he was considering a look and had been preparing for it, but I didn’t know until I got out there,” she told the outlet. “The night before, we used shampoo and conditioner. It probably took about 45 minutes to an hour. Then, we straightened his hair with flat irons to provide a sleeker look. On the morning of the event, we took like 10-15 minutes to get him ready. That’s it!”

Lawson said she was responsible solely for the hair, not the piercings or the nail polish. She says it’s fun to work with someone who exercises his creativity in everything he does.

“Jimmy is an individual. He has his own mind, his own way of thinking. And he does what he wants, you know? Who wouldn’t? You have the power to do what you want—and it’s not hurting anyone. It’s for fun and to just stir things up a bit.”

No one should really be surprised to see a Black man wear a perm in this day and age. Little Richard, Prince, Jimi Hendrix and countless others have worn their hair processed regardless of any expressed or unexpressed sexual preference.

And in basketball, we’ve already experienced people doing what might best be described as personally expressive looks. Surely you’ve heard of Dennis Rodman?

Butler says he’s just in his “emo” stage, which could be how he feels now that Damian Lillard has moved to the Eastern Conference and Jrue Holiday has joined the Celtics, complicating the Miami Heat’s return to the NBA Finals.

He also said recently that as a fan of country music and friend of country star Morgen Wallen, he is poised to release a country album. 

He said he’s been writing and producing with “real artists and songwriters,” and has about 45 songs already written. Unfortunately, he says his day job gets in the way.

“The date I want to do it always gets pushed back because this other job that I have, playing basketball, kind of overshadows everything,” he said. But of the upcoming project, he added, “I can’t wait to get it to the people.”

If he does make a country album, we can likely expect a new look. And just as quickly as he debuted the perm, Butler returned to the look we’ve gotten used to: his hair in braids with a headband.

In the meantime, I’m pretty sure that whatever hairstyle Butler is sporting, Heat fans are expecting a better outcome than last year when the Heat lost to the eventual NBA champions, the Denver Nuggets.

“This time we’re going to win it,” he told reporters on Media Day, “and then y’all are going to say we got lucky.”

See how social media reacted to Butler’s hairstyle below:

Jimmy Butler Enters His Emo Era With New Hairstyle, Facial Piercings And Black Nail Polish
Jimmy Butler
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