LeBron James reveals he listens to Beethoven to ‘calm down’ before games

6 January 2023, 17:50 | Updated: 6 January 2023, 17:51

LeBron James listens to Beethoven before a basketball game
LeBron James listens to Beethoven before a basketball game. Picture: Alamy

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

One of basketball’s biggest stars reveals he listens to Ludwig van Beethoven to get his head in the game.

Beethoven was brought up in an environment of strict musical discipline by his father, who would set young Ludwig at the piano to practise doggedly for hours at a time.

And now, more than 200 years on, Beethoven’s music is helping 2023’s greatest sports players create a little discipline of their own...

LA Lakers playmaker LeBron James, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, revealed that he listens to the composer’s music to “calm down” after leaving the weights room before a game.

Speaking on American talk show The Shop, the sportsman said: “I’m super excited when I get to the arena. I get to the arena, probably, like, five hours before the game starts.

“When I get there, I go right to the weight room, so then I listen to all hip-hop in the weight room. Like, I’ve been on some DMX s*** lately in the weight room.

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“And then when I leave the weight room, I got to calm down,” the basketball player added. “And that’s when I’m listening to more, like, old-school jazz or I listen to a lot of, like, Beethoven and s***, too.”

This isn’t LeBron’s first foray into the classical music world. Turns out he’s previously swapped hoops for all things 88-keyed. Back in 2014, he was given his first piano lesson by Lang Lang, in response to a video of the star pianist doing a piano version of a slam dunk and declaring his respect for the basketball superstar.

Lang Lang posted a picture of the lesson to his Twitter feed, describing James as “not a bad duet partner”.