Houston-born Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler enjoys country music, but he first started listening to it as a joke.
A clip of Butler discussing how he came to like country music recently started making the rounds on social media. The NBA star said listening to country began as a way to troll his teammates but has since become a genuine appreciation for the genre.
“Before the game, everyone was listening to those Beats by Dre, and at that point in time they weren’t wireless and they had that thick cord and it was just like obnoxiously loud,” Butler told the Alo Mind Full podcast seven months ago.
“They [teammates] wouldn’t put them on their ears, they were like right here [around the neck] and you could hear it. So it was like Lil Wayne coming from one of my teammates, Young Jeezy, Wiz Khalifa …,” he went on.
“So I was like ‘Why don’t y’all turn it down, what’s the point of having on headphones if you’re not gonna have them on your head?’ And they were like, ‘Don’t worry about it man, worry about what’s coming out of your headphones.”
“So I said ‘OK.’ After the game, I go home and I Google, ‘What’s the most country song there is?’ Three popped up, but the one I saw first was Tim McGraw’s ‘Don’t Take The Girl,’ so I downloaded it.”
The six-time NBA All-Star said this set his plan into motion.
“I go into the next game and I have my headphones like that and that’s what I’m blaring, and they were like ‘Yo, no you can’t listen to that, turn it down.’ And I said ‘No, you listen to what’s in your headphones, and I’m gonna listen to what’s in mine.’”
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Butler said it was McGraw who turned him on to country music. “Then I actually started to listen to the lyrics in the song, and I was like ‘Wow!’” he said.
The NBA player, who has the nickname “Jimmy Buckets,” is currently making headlines as Miami Heat is one win away from their second NBA Finals appearance in four years. The Heat play the Boston Celtics at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night.