Monday, he upped the ante, showing up with what he called his “emo” look, with straightened hair,pierced lips, nose and eyebrow and black nail polish.
The dreadlocks last year proved to be short lived, with Butler seemingly more intent last season in forcing the NBA’s hand, since the league uses media day photos throughout the season on promotional material.
This time, Butler said he is unsure what the approach will be going forward, leaving the door open for an extended run with the look.
“I might. You know what I might,” he said of carrying the approach onto the court. “I feel like I’m very emotional right now. This is my emo state, and I like this. This is me. This is how I’m feeling as of late.”
Asked if there was a specific reasoning behind the look, he said: “You never know how I’m going to wake up. This is how I feel today. We’ll see tomorrow. Tomorrow might be in all yellow.”
Of the move toward the goth look, at least for a day, he said, “I like it when we get to our black jerseys, because I’m supposed to be in all black.”
The look stunned teammate Bam Adebayo.
“Ain’t no way that’s him,” Adebayo said.
Adebayo added with a laugh, “What is wrong with him? That’s not real. He’s just misunderstood.”
And, Adebayo said, so be it.
“If this is a phase he’s going through at 34,” he said, “I guess you’ve got to let him go through his phases.”
At least for a day.
“He told me that’s his Halloween, today.” teammate Tyler Herro said of the annual media day.
As for falling short in last season’s NBA Finals, Butler said, “This is our year. This is the one. And this one’s going to feel real good, by the way.”
So, yes, even with his look, basketball first.
“It’s always been about a championship to me,” he said. “It will always be about that.”