Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine and person-who-is-Dr.-Dre Dr. Dre made headphones together. They're called Beats by Dre. People like them: they own 64 percent of the premium-headphones market. Among the people who like them is LeBron James, the Perfect Basketball Player (patent pending). LeBron James has, through both explicit endorsement and wearing them a lot, helped Beats earn that market share. And, according to this story from ESPN Magazine's music issue, Iovine thinks that LeBron got more than money and high-fidelity jams out of the relationship.
Iovine told ESPN's J. Freedom Du Lac (!) that Beats by Dre headphones can "really help these guys focus and get them to push even further because they have more emotion and feeling than other headphones."
Du Lac extends the idea: "James has been better, according to almost every statistical measure, in the four-plus seasons since he began wearing Beats, than he was in his first five in the league. He has won all three of his NBA Most Valuable Player awards in that period, and he has played in the NBA Finals twice, winning once." Du Lac consulted a sports psychologist, who said that, if the headphones do in fact help players get into a rhythm, then maybe they are beneficial.
This is a fun anecdote, and Du Lac's story is good. But! There might be another reason why LeBron's success coincided with when he started wearing Beats by Dre.
(Wait for it.)
(Wait for it.)
PLAYERS GET BETTER BY PRACTICING AND GAINING EXPERIENCE.
It's just a theory, though, like evolution and gravity.