Kendrick Lamar releases new album at LeBron James' request

ByDave McMenamin via ESPN logo
Saturday, March 5, 2016

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Turning his Twitter account into a real-life "Field of Dreams"-like mechanism to will something into being, Cavaliers forwardLeBron James tweeted to hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar and Anthony Tiffith, the CEO of the Top Dawg Entertainment record label, a little more than a week ago asking them to release new music by Lamar that they were sitting on.

Sure enough, Lamar seemingly granted James' request late Thursday night by tweeting out his new album, "untitled unmastered.", to the world.

James was asked about his relationship with Lamar after Cleveland's shootaround Friday.

"Is there any backstory? Um, it's just family ties," James said. "That's all. It's family ties."

Lamar, 28, is not actually related to the 31-year-old James, but the Los Angeles-based performer and James share a close friend in Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul.

"Really close," James said. "Admire each other's work and each other's craft. And even with him being all the way on the West Coast and me being here, we share a lot of qualities, being around the same age."

Despite the late Thursday release, James said he had already listened to the eight-song, 34-minute album come Friday morning.

"It was great," James said. "I think he's great. It's great to have family like that and people -- even in different areas, not just in sports -- that you can look to and hear for inspiration and things of that nature."

After shootaround, James posted an Instagram video while listening to one of Lamar's songs in his car.

Should James really get credit for Lamar opening up his library, or was the timing just a happy coincidence?

"That's what it's been documented, as of now," James said. "Yeah. That's what they said. They said to thank me. So, appreciate it. You're welcome."

Apparently it's good to be King James, know King Kendrick and have the reach of 28.5 million Twitter followers to help bring weight to your whims.

"That's how it works sometimes," James said with a laugh.

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