Jimmy Butler’s new “emo” hairdo is the internet’s latest obsession.
The Miami Heat player, 34, arrived to media day on Monday with straightened hair, painted fingernails and piercings — the second year in a row he chose the event to unveil a new look for the season.
“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up,” he told the room of snickering reporters. He added: “I’m very emotional right now. This is my emo state and I like this. This is me,” Butler said. “This is how I’m feeling as of late.”
With Butler rocking this look on media day, which is when players talk to reporters and take official headshots, his emo style will be featured in promotional photos all throughout the upcoming NBA season.
Social media users quickly noticed Butler’s new look and couldn’t help but equate his hairstyle to that of emo bands of the early 2000s — like Secondhand Serenade, Fall Out Boy, and Panic! at the Disco.
One post on X, formerly Twitter, featured several shots of Butler’s hair and an emoji meme of the infamous emo black hair swoop. It simply read: Cuz tonight will be the night that I will ball for yewwww,” a play on the lyrics to Secondhand Serenade’s 2008 hit “Fall For You.”
Another poster shared Butler’s official headshot, writing, “Not he went and got that… ‘CUT MY LIFE INTO PIECES; THIS IS MY LAST RESORT.’”
On Instagram, one user edited Butler’s head into the music video for “Outkast’s Hey Ya!,” in which rapper Andre 3000 rocks a short silk press. And the hairdresser responsible for Butler’s new look shared a behind-the-scenes clip of her straightening the athlete’s hair with Fall Out Boy’s “Thnks fr th Mmrs” playing in the background.
Butler is seemingly fond of shaking up his looks regularly. He donned dreadlocks at last year’s media day and kept them for months, but ultimately decided that the long hairstyle may interfere with his game, so he removed them ahead of the Heat’s first preseason game, according to the Ringer.
It’s unclear how long Butler will keep his hair straightened, but social media users have some ideas. “Jimmy Butler gon sweat his press out before the end of the first quarter,” one person posted on X.
Internet users weren’t the only ones shocked by Butler’s latest stunt. Heat center Bam Adebayo told reporters that he hadn’t seen Butler in person before the day began and thought the straightened hair photos were edited with Photoshop.
“That is not real!” Adebayo said, calling the look “hilarious.”