MIAMI – Manbun or headband?
That is Kelly Olynyk’s dilemma before every game.
“It’s all a feel,” said the Heat big man with the shoulder length locks. “Whatever the vibe and the feel is like. Sometimes you’re trying to let it flow, let it rock. Other times keep it high and tight.”
But on Wednesday, Olynyk, who signed with the Heat in July, tried something different. After spending four years with the Celtics, Olynyk returned to Boston for the first time to face his old team. A fan favorite during his time with the Celtics, Olynyk wanted to show he appreciated the love and give back something.
So his plan was to play with both styles. He started the game with the headband but switched to the manbun sooner than expected.
“We only have one game in Boston I want to give the fans both hairstyles,” Olynyk said. “I didn’t know when I was going to change it but the first six minutes didn’t go our way so it was time to do it up early.”
Olynyk made the switch when the Heat called timeout with 6:15 to play in the first quarter. Miami was trailing 14-5 and Olynyk had missed his only shot.
Olynyk returned with his hair in a bun and went on to record his career high of 32 points and make 12 of his next 14 shots, including a career-high six three pointers in Miami’s 90-89 win.
The bun was the bomb.
So is the headband retired for the rest of the season?
“Probably not done for the year,” said Olynyk, who will make his 10th start of the season tonight when the Heat face Dallas.
“But we’ll see what happens.”
The only people who said anything about the mid-game switch were some of his “boys” sitting courtside.
Olynyk, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Heat in July, has played with the bun most of the season. And he has reason.
ESPN researched Olynyk’s stats from last season with each style:
Manbun: 10.6 points per game, 5.2 rebounds; 54.1 percent from the floor, 41.2 on threes.
Headband: 7.1 points per game, 4.1 rebounds; 47.1 percent from the floor, 24.6 on threes.
Olynyk said he heard it from the fans and some teammates whenever the stats were published.
“Gerald Green used to always be on me,” Olynyk said about the former Celtics and Heat player. “He’d say, ‘C’mon, Kelly you got to rock the bun, man.’”
For now, the bun will be rockin’.