The Miami Heat’s leader, Jimmy Butler, has been working hard this summer with NBA trainer Chris Brickley, and on Wednesday, July 27, the six-time All-Star surprised everyone by showing up to practice with a completely new look.
Brickley’s photos and video of Butler’s new hairdo quickly went viral on Instagram because fans initially didn’t recognize the 32-year-old wing with long hair. The skills trainer casually captioned the post, “Hard Work is Undefeated @jimmybutler.”
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However, fans couldn’t focus on Butler shooting hoops while he was sporting such a drastically different hairdo. “Lmaoooo jimmy got the extensions in 😂😂😂😂,” one person wrote in the comments section, while another person noted, “Thought that was Thugger for a second 😂.”
“That boy had to go put in the dread weave 😂😂,” another man commented, ” while one person asked, “Jimmy got hair extensions? 5 days ago he didn’t have that lol.”
The photos quickly went viral on Twitter, as well. “Jimmy Butler went and got some premium bundles,” one person tweeted.
About an hour after Brickley’s post went viral, the Marquette alum shared his own video on Instagram, revealing the process of how he got the new locks done. He captioned the video, “now you see me now you don’t.”
Butler had short, tight braids the last time Heat Nation saw him, during the Eastern Conference Finals in May, so seeing the veteran baller with long hair pulled back into a ponytail definitely caused a double take.
Butler Has Been Lying Low Through All the Kevin Durant Trade Rumors
While the Heat’s been heavily linked to landing Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant in a blockbuster trade, Butler has remained quiet amid the flurry of reports this offseason.
The 6-foot-7 forward has been mentioned by analysts as a possible centerpiece to offer the Nets for Durant. The Athletic’s John Hollinger stated on June 30 that everyone is on the table when it comes to Durant. “Some guys who thought they were untouchable are about to find out how touchable they are. It seems crazy for Miami to call the Nets and offer Jimmy Butler… but on the other hand, how could they not?”
However, the possibility of Butler getting traded for Durant seems highly unlikely. Butler signed a monster extension during the offseason last year, inking a four-year, $184 million deal to stay with the Heat. He’s the de facto leader of Miami’s roster, and his 47-point performance in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals was one for the Heat’s history books.
Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman addressed the topic on Wednesday, explaining how such a trade doesn’t serve to benefit the Heat. It “would be nothing more than subbing out similar components, with a potential net gain, but not an extreme net gain, in light of Butler’s perimeter defensive capabilities,” Winderman surmised.
“And Jimmy is so tied to Kyle Lowry that there could be some lingering concerns there, as well. When you go through the machinations to bring aboard a Kevin Durant, it has to be with the mind of a significant, franchise-altering upgrade. I’m not sure it’s worth the effort if it means moving on from a player who helped you make the Eastern Conference finals in two of the past three seasons, at times carrying the team on his back, as well as tossing in other sweeteners. To this point, what team has offered their best player to Brooklyn for Durant?”
Butler Is Not Happy P.J. Tucker Is No Longer on the Team
Butler has spent the summer growing the Big Face coffee brand, collaborating with Van Leeuwen Ice Cream on an affogato flavor, playing tennis, and catching soccer matches abroad. However, Butler broke his silence on the team’s offseason moves when forward P.J. Tucker left in free agency to sign a three-year, $33.2 million contract with the Philadephia 76ers.
After Tucker shared a heartfelt farewell post on Instagram on July 6, Butler wrote: “F*** you and @joelembiid yeah I brought him into this 🤷🏿♂️.”
Butler, who’s tight with Embiid, likely made the NSFW comment in his signature raw style of humor, but it’s also likely he’ll genuinely miss having Tucker in Miami. For a guy who famously “doesn’t like anybody,” as Warriors star Andre Iguodala said, Butler actually adored Tucker.