Jimmy Butler, the NBA star and current Miami Heat small forward, loves listening to Nickelback.
And the basketball player often subjects his teammates to the hit-making Canadian rock band.
But is his locker-room Nickelback listening a motivating tactic or a punishment for fellow players? Either way, Butler’s Nickelback affection is now a topic in sports media as the Heat lead the Boston Celtics 3–1 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Down toward the bottom of this post, see some videos that could make a case for either argument.
On Tuesday (May 23), ESPN brought up Butler’s affection for Nickelback, even interviewing a teammate about it. But Butler’s fandom goes back further, as does his taste in country from artists like Morgan Wallen. (Butler is friends with Wallen.)
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Earlier this year, after the Heat lost a game, Butler reportedly played some Nickelback songs at his locker for teammates and staffers. At least one of the songs got through to Heat power forward Udonis Haslem, though Haslem can’t quite remember which. Still, he said Butler helped him understand it.
Commentator Marcellus Wiley Says Jimmy Butler Playing Nickelback Is Punishment
Haslem tells ESPN, “He’s just explaining the song to me. A lot of times the reason why people might diss or whatever is ’cause they don’t understand the song or they don’t even give it a chance to listen. They just immediately shit on it. Once he started telling me what [Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger] was saying, and I started listening to it, then it all made sense.”
Trying to recall what Nickelback song Butler played, Haslem continues, “Oh man, I can’t remember, but it’s something about it’s like, ‘Just give it your all’ or ‘Stuck between, rock and a hard plaaaace. It’s like rock and a hard plaaaace.’ Something like that.”
Was Haslem thinking of Nickelback’s “What Are You Waiting For?” from 2014’s No Fixed Address?
Nickelback, “What Are You Waiting For?” (Lyric Video)
That said, country may be Butler’s main musical love. Last year, word emerged he was working on his own country album. But perhaps the intersection of country and rock excites Butler the most. A commercial shows him singing along to Hootie & the Blowfish‘s hit roots-rocker “Only Wanna Be With You.”
If, like Jimmy, Nickelback is your jam, be sure to catch them on tour. Get your tickets here.
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Jimmy Butler Listening to Nickelback
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