Getty Images | Sam Navarro

IT WAS MEDIA DAY in the NBA this week, and you know what that means. Like every other year, we heard each team’s coach say his squad was a “really special group of guys.” We heard every player declare they’re, “feeling better than ever.” And we saw some of the associations biggest stars debuting new looks, most notably Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat. Butler is no stranger to shaking things up style wise—as you’ll see below—but his latest change is his most dramatic yet.

Most NBA players come into a new season looking relatively unchanged. Some will spend the offseason adding a few kilos of muscle. Other’s will get some new ink. A few may have even receive a fresh trim. But Jimmy Butler is not like most players. It only takes a cursory glance at the forward’s latest makeover to notice something out of the ordinary for the six-time all-star.

Getty Images | Sam Navarro
Getty Images

Be assured, Butler’s media dubbed “emo” look is not photoshopped. And as you might expect, the surprise haircut has spawned countless memes across the internet. Social media is branding Butler as “Ball Out Boy”, “Panic! At The Free Throw Line”, and “Heat Wentz”, with inspiration from popular bands and musicians of the emo rock genre.

The reasoning behind Butler’s emo phase? That’s up for debate, but Butler himself has a simple explanation. “I’m feeling this,” he told reporters at the Miami Heat’s media day. “This is my emotional state, I’m one with my emotions.”

Butler’s style switch might have been inspired by some recent bad luck in the NBA sphere. Butler and the Heat were defeated in the NBA Finals last year and have had a disaster of an offseason since then. First, superstar point guard Damian Lillard publicly requested a trade and declared the Heat as his preferred, and really his only viable, destination. That deal never got done however, with the Portland Trailblazers eventually trading Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks for a package including Jrue Holiday, another Heat trade target. But Miami missed out on Holiday too, who was instead dealt to the Boston Celtics. Poor Jimmy Butler, all he wants to do is win.

Don’t feel too sorry for Butler. After all, he is making millions to play basketball. Win or lose, he’ll be fine. But his unexpected trim has us reminiscing about a handful of other notable celebrity hairstyle transformations. These are the celebrity cuts that made our jaws drop.

What are the most unexpected celebrity hairstyle transformations?

Getty Images | Phil Cole

David Beckham – Cornrows

David Beckham has always had a flair for the dramatic, and as such, he’s tested variety of hairstyles over the years. Becks has been opening up on some of his more adventurous styling choices in his eponymous Netflix docuseries, and in a recent interview he recalled his infamous cornrows. “People ask if I have any regrets about my hairstyles and while I don’t regret any of them, I do sort of regret the cornrows,” he said.

INSTAGRAM | @ronaldo

Ronaldo Nazario – The R9

Legendary Brazilian footballer Ronaldo Nazario (not to be confused with the other Ronaldo) has an equally legendary haircut. Ahead of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo spiced up his style with a shaved around the back, buzzed on the front trim. Ronaldo insists the decision was a tactical one, aimed to throw off opponents and take the pressure off him. Brazil won that World Cup, so obviously his plan worked.

INSTAGRAM | @florencepugh

Florence Pugh – Buzz Cut

Florence Pugh’s fame is growing with every compelling role the actress lends her talents to, and the 27-year-old recently shook things up with a buzz cut. Pugh decided to opt for shorter hair to combat Hollywood’s obsession with glamour, “I wanted vanity out of the picture,” she said.

INSTAGRAM | @dennisrodman

Dennis Rodman – Too many to list

NBA hall of famer Dennis Rodman has never shied away from attention-grabbing hairstyles. The Power forward utilised avant-garde dyed hair designs throughout his career and changed his style so often it’s difficult to find a single look to focus on.

INSTAGRAM | @jimmybutler

Jimmy Butler (again) – Dreadlocks

Like we mentioned earlier, Jimmy Butler is no stranger to changing his hairstyle. At last year’s NBA media day, Butler debuted lengthy dreadlocks that extended well below his shoulder’s. Butler insisted that the dreadlocks were his real hair, saying he wouldn’t dream of using extensions.

V for Vendetta | Warner Bros.

Natalie Portman – Buzz Cut

The film industry appreciates a commitment to the craft, and Natalie Portman is as devoted as anyone. In 2005, Portman shaved her head for V for Vendetta, and the commitment alone should have landed her an Oscar!

American Hustle | Sony Pictures

Bradley Cooper – Curls

Curls were big in the 70’s, so for American Hustle, Bradley Cooper had to get with the times. While he didn’t go as far as getting a perm, Cooper curled his naturally straight hair every day for the role.

Johnny Suede | Miramax

Brad Pitt – Whatever you call that thing

No, this Brad Pitt hairstyle isn’t just a fever dream. 90’s Indie film Johnny Suede had Pitt looking more like Johnny Bravo, proving he’ll do just about anything if the script calls for it.

INSTAGRAM | @justinbieber

Justin Bieber – Dreadlocks

Justin Bieber dabbled in dreadlocks back in 2021, and the jury is still out on whether or not it was a good look. The dreads drew admiration from some, and criticism from others accusing the singer of cultural appropriation. Bieber has since parted with the dreadlocks, and we can’t say we miss them.


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