Which NBA players control the locker room music? Here’s a list of those in charge of the tunes

Posted on 16 April 2017
By Khyle Deen
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Music plays a crucial part in basketball. The rhythms in sport perhaps are felt most powerfully in this game of bounce, dribble, pass and shoot. Run and gun, soar fly and 360 dunk. Just talking about it makes you think of a booming beat.

But for the players in the best bball league in the world – the NBA, music is a vital part of the Pre-game warm up, post-game cool down, and even the soundtrack to the middle of the game.

The NY Knicks experimented with a period of total silence during a regular season game against the Warriors at Madison Sq Garden this year, but the experiment was panned by players and fans alike.

Each player has his own personal taste in music, much like everyone. These can range from hometown hip-hop to house music, and lots in-between.

What about the shared space that is the NBA locker room – do you ever wonder how a player earns the right to blast their fave tunes through locker room speakers? What about a team’s playlist to get hyped before tip off? Let’s find out…

With the NBA Playoffs now fully underway, we’re going to run down each team’s locker room leaders when it comes to the music selection and why they have control of the aux plug.

1) Atlanta Hawks (Dwight Howard)

“Dwight Howard, definitely. He carries his boombox around. Everywhere.” — Paul Millsap

2) Boston Celtics (Amir Johnson)

“[Amir is] aiight. He’s from the West Coast.” — Marcus Smart

3) Chicago Bulls (Jimmy Butler)

“Jimmy. [We listen to] whatever he has in mind. Future—that new Future that came out, ‘I’m So Groovy,’ ‘Draco,’ ‘Mask Off.’ And old Wayne, old Weezy.” — Denzel Valentine

4) Cleveland Cavaliers (LeBron James)

“One thing about LeBron’s music is you can get Eminem, Jay-Z—he’s got the largest library. The most random thing he’s put in was in Toronto, listening to ‘70s dance music was random but cool.” — Jordan McRae

5) Golden State Warriors (Shared)

“JaVale [McGee] normally takes control, I do the weight room a lot and sometimes Zaza gets tired of our young music, so he comes over there and puts on some house music or something I’ve never heard in my life before. About once a week I gotta deal with it.” — Kevon Looney

6) Houston Rockets (Nobody)

“We actually don’t play too much music in the locker room. Before every game we have a highlight tape of the previous game that coach (Brett Gunning) puts together and he picks the music. Usually all depending on what city we’re in, which is funny. So if we’re in L.A. it could be YG or Kendrick. In New Orleans it might be Lil Wayne. He’s always trying to surprise us and make himself look cool.” — Sam Dekker

7) Indiana Pacers (Jeff Teague)

“He be having the locker room going crazy. It was a speaker in there one day and he just started playing music. That’s just what we do—kind of a ritual before the game. He was playing that Lil Boosie, Future, [Lil] Yachty, I think Bun B. He play almost everybody. Lil Wayne is his main thing.” — Joe Young

8) Los Angeles Clippers (Alan Anderson)

“In the locker room, everybody listens to their own stuff. But on the plane, AA gets the music going. It’s mostly older music, like Nas, Styles P, stuff like that.” — Wes Johnson

9) Memphis Grizzlies (Zach Randolph)

“The locker room DJ on our team is Zach Randolph—mix between Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. Zach plays a lot of his artists, like Moneybagg Yo, and Yo Gotti, Future, a little bit of Big Sean. We get a little bit of everybody.” — Mike Conley

10) Milwaukee Bucks (John Henson)

“Probably John, but I sort of force my will on the team. See, they’re not high on Kendrick Lamar. I like music. They like all that other stuff, that rowdy stuff. He likes to play 21 Savage, Future.” — Jabari Parker

11) Oklahoma City Thunder (Russell Westbrook)

“Everybody knows who’s in charge in our locker room, man. He goes with a lot of Biggie, a lot of Lil Uzi Vert, you know that from his commercial. And if you’re going to try to do take control, you better bring something good otherwise it’s being changed quick.” — Josh Huestis

12) Portland Trail Blazers (Ed Davis)

“21 Savage, Future are go-tos. We put Dame on there every now and then. But he don’t like for us to play his music too much.” — Ed Davis

13) San Antonio Spurs (Nobody)

“The only time we have someone DJ is when we’re lifting weights, at the facility. In the locker room, everybody’s in their own zone.” — Dejounte Murray

14) Toronto Raptors (Nobody)

“No music is playing in the locker room, not before the game. During practice, it’s whoever wants it. Coach might pick it sometimes. Usually whatever’s the hottest thing out right then, it don’t matter what it is, whatever’s good.” — Kyle Lowry

15) Utah Jazz (Rudy Gobert)

“I think Rudy tries to be [DJ] whenever we’re in the weight room. He’s always playing his French music. Nobody brings their phone down to the weight room but Rudy, so he just kind of took over. He plays a lot of French [music]. He tries to put the French rap music in there and plays a lot of the mainstream stuff—Meek Mill, all the Drake.” — Dante Exum

16) Washington Wizards (John Wall or Kelly Oubre)

“It all varies. I’ll say KO and John, they’re the only two that really play music.” — Trey Burke

So there we have it, a cool list of who (and who doesn’t) control the tunes that play inside the locker rooms of the NBA Championship hopefuls.

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