LeBron James Playlist: Updated Championship Edition
18 Songs for the Newly Crowned NBA Star
Last week, Billboard.com unveiled a playlist for basketball superstar LeBron James, who had just entered his third NBA Finals in nine seasons and his second with the Miami Heat. After the Heat lost in the final round last year to the Dallas Mavericks, James' leadership and clutch play was called into question. Meanwhile, his detractors ridiculed the Heat for building a super-team with James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh a year earlier, but failing to earn a ring.
But when matched up with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Finals, James dominated. The Heat defeated the upstart OKC squad in five games to give LeBron his first championship ring, to go along with his regular season MVP award and Finals MVP. To celebrate James getting over the hump and winning a championship, check out Billboard.com's updated playlist for LeBron James, which honors his b-ball skills, controversial public persona and fascinating career.
Nelly, "Number One": Selected as the first overall draft pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, LeBron entered the league with Nelly-single-esque cockiness.
Kanye West, "Amazing": From the get-go, LeBron was an NBA superstar, and quickly became a perennial All-Star. "My reign is as far as your eyes can see," indeed.
Tom Petty, "It's Good To Be King": For most of his time in Cleveland, King James enjoyed his perch at the top of the NBA standings, and things were rolling for the young superstar.
*NSYNC, "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You": Have you seen LeBron play in person? His physique and basketball IQ are otherworldly. Like the *NSYNC conclude, God granted the Akron native with unparalleled physical gifts.
Kings of Leon, "Use Somebody" (Dwyane Wade tribute): Despite making the Finals in 2007 with the Cavaliers, LeBron's supporting cast never gave him the help he needed. In 2010, LeBron decided that he needed some more incredible talent around him, which is why he linked up with fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and headed to...
Will Smith, "Miami"
Nas, "Hate Me Now": The backlash towards LeBron was fierce, but in the press, LeBron said he didn't pay any mind to the haters. At that point, he was in full Nas-in-the-"Hate Me Now"-video mode, walking across from an explosion in slow motion.
Green Day, "Nice Guys Finish Last": Not surprisingly, the Cleveland Cavaliers tanked after LeBron left town, setting a record for the longest losing streak in NBA history during the 2010-2011 season.
Tupac, "Me Against The World": Early into LeBron's first season with the Heat, it was clear that the team were the new villains of the NBA. For James, a once beloved athlete, the basketball community was seemingly at his throat.
Adam Lambert, "Whataya Want From Me": James had a typically great season last year, played lock-down defense in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and came within two games of winning a ring during his first year in Miami. And he gets killed in the media for not winning it all? Hey. Slow it down. Whataya want from him?
Belle & Sebastian, "The Boy Done Wrong Again": According to a Sports Illustrated interview, James locked himself in his house for two weeks after losing the NBA Finals last year. For that period of his life, we give him the saddest Belle & Sebastian song we could find.
Aaliyah, "Try Again": Fortunately, James picked himself up for year 2 in Miami, and led the Heat to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. Although at first he didn't succeed, the superstar wasn't making any excuses during his second try.
Ludacris, "MVP": LeBron captured his third MVP award after this season, beating out candidates like Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, who he faced in the Finals.
Queen and David Bowie, "Under Pressure": Under pressure? How could he not be? LeBron had the whole basketball world watching and analyzing his every move during his playoff run. Even Bowie didn't have to go through that.
DMX, "One More Road To Cross": The final step for James' coronation: winning 4 more games and capturing a ring. Fortunately, he rose to the occasion with the unrelenting ferocity of Dark Man X.
Kool & The Gang, "Celebration": After the Heat wrapped up the NBA Finals with a pounding of the Thunder, it was time to party in South Beach. Hey, Pat Riley! Get that lampshade off your head!
Mac Miller, "My Team": Let's not forget the contributions of other Heat stars like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Marion Chalmers and that flat-top genius Norris Cole. "What happened to that shit yo was talkin' before?" Mac Miller ponders on this track, a question LeBron is also asking today.
T.I., "King Back": LeBron's anthem for next season. Bet against a repeat Finals run at your own risk.