The Well-Tempered Ear

Beethoven helps LeBron James break a big basketball scoring record | February 5, 2023

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By Jacob Stockinger

Sometime this coming week — maybe even by the time you read this — basketball superstar LeBron James (below) will break the all-time scoring record for the NBA.

The current record of 38,387 points is held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (known earlier in his career as Lew Alcindor) who he broke the previous record held by Wilt Chamberlain on April 5, 1984. Abdul-Jabbar, who is famous for his “skyhook,” retired at 42 in 1989 and is now 75.

At 38, James — who is just 63 points away from the record as of this writing — still has many years to play and score. 

Based on what the James (below, in action)  — who is also the first player to become a billionaire while playing in the NBA — usually scores each game, professional sports watchers expect he will surpass Abdul-Jabbar at a game against the Milwaukee Bucks this coming Thursday night, Feb. 9, in Milwaukee.

When he does, you will no doubt hear about it. It will be big news since the previous NBA scoring record has lasted for almost 34 years.

James, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, is known as a very disciplined, even obsessive, player who even follows a special diet to stay in shape.

What’s more, according to reports, James  — who took his first piano lesson from  the famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang — also listens to classical music. He especially likes to listen to Beethoven (below) after he listens to hip-hop while in the weight room, and then leaves to get ready and “calm down” before a game and heading out to the court.

Here is a link to that story on ClassicFM:

What Beethoven pieces do you think LeBron James listens to in order to calm down before a game? Symphonies? Concertos? Chamber music? A lot of Beethoven seems more aggressive than relaxing to The Ear. But the slow middle movement of the Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” (played by Lang Lang in the YouTube video at the bottom) seems like a good choice.

Maybe James will even somehow read this and let us know his favorite works by Beethoven and other classical composers.

Do any other readers or athletes listen to classical music as part of their athletic training, preparation and activity? Do a lot of the runners who are listening to something through ear buds listen too classical music?

The Ear wants to hear.


  1. Thanks Ann
    I corrected the typo
    In the future
    You should probably email me directly
    Not do it as another blog comment
    Unless you mean to
    Which maybe you did
    In this case

    Sent from my iPhone


    Comment by welltemperedear — February 7, 2023 @ 11:50 am

  2. Years ago, a very nervous about to be groom, listened several times to the prelude to act one of La Traviata. Calmed me down, always does, even today.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve told everyone close to me that when I lay dying, to please put on Horowitz’ recording of the Schubert/Liszt Serenade from the “Horowitz At Home” recording.

    If you listen with a great set of headphones, I am convinced that as the last notes fade away you can hear the Maestro sigh, as he should, in complete satisfaction.

    I hope to do the same as I fade away!


    Comment by michaelpscott — February 5, 2023 @ 9:01 pm

    • Thank you for commenting.
      That is a great recording by Horowitz of a great piece.
      I can see why you would choose it.
      Lets hope not for a very long time tho!


      Comment by welltemperedear — February 7, 2023 @ 9:11 am

  3. >


    Comment by Laurence Everard — February 5, 2023 @ 3:47 pm

  4. Maybe The Pastoral Symphony?

    Get Outlook for iOS ________________________________


    Comment by ANN C BOYER — February 5, 2023 @ 10:22 am

    • Excellent choice — except perhaps for the Storm section near he end. But the opening is a calming expression of going to the countryside


      Comment by welltemperedear — February 7, 2023 @ 9:09 am

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