Kick Out the Jams

Cavalier players wear their headphones on the bus, on the way to the bus, in the locker room before the game and while they’re getting stretched in the locker room before the game. In the iPod generation, ballplayers don’t go anywhere without their tunes.

Big Ben Wallace just sits at his locker – facing his locker – getting into his jams. LeBron comes out of the trainer’s room rapping, loudly. It’s as great as it sounds. (The final exchange took place in Thursday night’s pre-game locker room.) thought we’d try to find out what the guys are listening to: before the game, after the game. As you might imagine, rap and R&B top the charts. It’s not like LeBron James – the man who shared a stage with Jay-Z a couple weeks ago – is listening to, like, Barry Manilow. Right? What do you listen to before a game?

LeBron James: It’s not always Jay-Z. For the most part it is. Music is a part of my life; it’s always been a part of my life. It’s always been part of my pre-game routine ever since I started playing basketball.

Tarence Kinsey: Usually, I’ll listen to Lil Wayne, Jay-Z. Lil Wayne, mostly. But Ben Wallace has been listening to T.I. LeBron listens pretty much to Jay-Z. Most of the time, it’s just on your mood how you feel that day.

Ben Wallace: Yeah, T.I., Lil Weezy, Jay-Z, Scarface. I’m into a little bit of everything.

Jawad Williams: All rap, really. But a mixture of different things. Lil Wayne, Jay-Z. Anything that gets me going. There’s a lot of different stuff out there. I can’t listen to anything mellow. I’ll go to sleep. I need something that’s going to put me on edge. T.I. Yeah, I have that on my iPod now. I think everyone’s got that right now.

Lorenzen Wright: I listen to Christian music before a game. I don’t do the gangsta stuff anymore. I used to listen to that when I was younger. Do you ever listen to sports talk on the drive home to hear about the game?

LeBron James: Nah. Never. Ever. Ever.

Ben Wallace: I don’t listen to the radio. Just CDs.

Tarence Kinsey: I listen to whatever was in my CD player when I came to the arena. Right now, I’m just into Lil Wayne. He’s a great artist. I can listen to his whole CD, from 1 through 15.

Jawad Williams: Some rap music again. Maybe a little R&B, depending on what kind of mood I’m in. I’m one of those people who can’t sleep after the game anyway. So maybe some R&B to help me try to get some sleep, but that doesn’t always work either.

LeBron James: I listen to everything. I listen to hip-hop, R&B, alternative. I don’t listen to all hip-hop. I listen to hip-hop before the game to get me ready.

Chris Thomassan, Rocky Mountain News: Did you know Carmelo Anthony has admitted having Barry Manilow on his iPod?

LeBron James: Yeah, I probably got a little bit of that.

Tom Withers, Associated Press : Do you know which songs?

LeBron James: Not off the top of my head. But I bet I can find it on my iPod. Go ahead, ask questions. I’m going to go look for it.

LeBron James: Here: “Copa Cabana,” “I Am Your Child,” “Mandy.”


But I’m going to listen to some Jay-Z right now.