Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler addressed rumors regarding his relationship with pop superstar Shakira while later sporting a unique look during the team's Media Day session ahead of the 2023-24 NBA season.
Butler, 34, was featured in an article published by Rolling Stone's Marlow Stern Monday (October 2) in which he appeared to deny reports that he was dating the Colombian singer.
"Just because people hang out doesn’t mean anybody’s dating," Butler said. "But it gives everybody something to talk about, so y’all take it and y’all run with it. She’s very, very cool and that’s all I got!"
Butler also went viral for his Media Days appearance -- which coincided with the article's release -- Monday morning in which he was seen wearing his hair straightened with two new piercings, one above his eyebrow and one in his nose.
"This is my emotional state," Butler told reporters. "I'm one with my emotions so this is what you get."
Last year, Butler wore dreadlock extensions -- which he jokingly denied -- to the Heat's Media Days session, claiming he made the change to rile up fans online.
"I don't have any extensions, I don't know what you're talking about," Butler said at the time.
"I'm just messing with stuff to make the internet mad," he added. "That was my goal this summer and it worked."
The photo of Butler with dreadlocks was used as his graphic during many NBA games throughout the 2022-23 season and postseason, despite having changed back to his normal hairstyle prior to the start of the season.
"There might not be a bigger troll in the NBA than Miami's Jimmy Butler," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said in October 2022 via Sporting News. "He knew these pictures would be used for the rest of the season in promotional materials."
Butler, a six-time All-Star, led the eighth-seed Heat on a remarkable playoff run, which concluded with a loss to the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals. The 34-year-old averaged 26.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists during Miami's postseason run earlier this year, having won the Larry Bird Trophy given to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals MVP.