What Stars Are Listening to During NBA Playoffs
We've all seen the clip a million times: An NBA player enters the arena with a day bag slung over his shoulder and a pair of headphones nestled perfectly on his head.
Typically, most of the attention is focused on the player's wardrobe selection, but the most important question is rarely asked: What are they listening to?
Now, we finally know the answer. Many players in the Association listen to their favorite songs while preparing for a game, and in recent months, a number of them have made their selections public. It should be no surprise that hip-hop dominates the landscape, but there are plenty of songs on postseason playlists that have universal appeal.
1) Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
The second single off of Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience"—"Mirrors"—is one of Harrison Barnes' favorite songs, but his playlist is equally split between pop music and hip-hop.
Timberlake and Bruno Mars ("Locked Out of Heaven") are the more well-known selections, but J. Cole's "Power Trip" and Kendrick Lamar's "Collect Calls" are two tracks that have generated their fair share of buzz over the past few months.
It's an interesting mix to be sure, but judging by his stats, it has gotten Barnes into the right frame of mind so far in the postseason.
2) Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
At 24, Kevin Durant is one of the league's younger superstars, so it's refreshing to see a song on his playlist—Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'"—that's nearly a decade older than he is.
That said, it isn't exactly a high-energy number: Fortunately, Durant rectifies that with other pregame selections that include Big Boi ("Shoes For Running"), Young Jeezy ("R.I.P.") and Beyonce ("Diva").
And no D.C. native's playlist would be complete without a little bit of Wale: Durant represents with "Lotus Flower Bomb" and "The Motivation B Right."
3) Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
It's hard to be more current than Kenneth Faried's playlist: His two favorite songs are both less than three months old.
Drake's "Started from the Bottom" and 50 Cent's "We Up" are the tracks that get the 23-year-old Faried going, and based on his energy level, they seemed to be doing the trick.
Teammate Kosta Koufos is a Drake fan as well, but he also throws "Headlines" into his pregame mix.
4) James Harden, Houston Rockets
James Harden's playlist is almost entirely composed of hip-hop, but the artists range from the well-known (Drake, Meek Mill, Kanye West) to the relatively obscure (Lil Reese, Karate Chop, Young Scooter).
Harden's musical journey takes a brief detour down memory lane with "Can I Kick It?" from A Tribe Called Quest, yet the overwhelming majority of his choices are songs that are less than three years old.
Macklemore dominates the playlist with four tracks, one of which is the current Billboard sensation "Can't Hold Us."
5) Andre Iguodala, Denver Nuggets
Perhaps the most expansive playlist of the postseason, Andre Iguodala's pregame music selections span nearly two decades.
Wu-Tang Clan's "Tearz" is the oldest song of the bunch, but the Denver Nuggets' forward has plenty of Drake ("Crew Love"), Jay-Z ("Empire State of Mind") and Frank Ocean ("Pyramids") in his personal mix.
Iguodala's song selection has a little something for everyone: Tracks by Janelle Monae ("Tightrope", "Cold War"), Gwen Stefani ("Long Way To Go"), and Santigold ("Disparate Youth") round out the diverse set.
6) LeBron James, Miami Heat
LeBron James likes to listen to a little Wiz Khalifa before the opening tip ("Gone" and "Remember You" are his go-to tracks), but his rap-heavy playlist also includes 2 Chainz ("I'm Different"), A$AP Rocky ("Long Live A$AP") and T.I. ("Trap Back Jumpin").
Not all of James' songs are recent hits, however: The Miami Heat star is a fan of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's seminal classic "Still D.R.E."
Given the overwhelming popularity of the song, it's safe to say that James would be a fan, even if he and Dr. Dre weren't co-investors in the "Beats by Dre" line of headphones and audio equipment.
7) Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
T.I. constitutes a third of Josh Smith's setlist—completely understandable given the fact that the Atlanta Hawks' forward is a native of College Park, Georgia.
However, most of the T.I. songs are deep cuts, with two of them coming from the critically-acclaimed "Heavy Is The Head" album that was released last year.
Kendrick Lamar is also well represented on Smith's playlist (three songs, including "Money Trees" off of "good kid, m.A.A.d city") as is Drake, whose "Light Up" is a staple on many iPods across the league.
8) Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
From Coldplay to Flo Rida, Dwyane Wade's pregame tunes cover a fairly wide cross-section of the music industry.
Of course, there are the stock artists like Kanye West ("Power") and Rick Ross ("Stay Schemin") that are in most NBA playlists.
But Wade has a few curveballs in there as well with the aforementioned Coldplay ("Hurts Like Heaven"), Maroon 5 ("One More Night") and John Mayer ("Gravity"). And for those who think the Heat shooting guard is "old", there's even a little Mindless Behavior ("Mrs. Right") thrown in for good measure.