You already know that LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. But after taking a closer look at his stats, it seems he plays even better when celebrities are sitting courtside. The Undefeated did some heavy lifting and decided to take an in-depth look at whether the encouragement and support of stars does anything for LeBron, and from what they've found, LeBron's stats actually improve when he's got someone he really wants to impress watching him play. The Undefeated conducted their study of LeBron's stats as he prepares to play two games in Los Angeles this weekend.
Looking at LeBron's stats while celebrities such as Diddy, Beyoncé, Jack Nicholson, Drake, Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Usher are watching him play, The Undefeated found he actually averages more points per game with these stars in attendance. Across six games, LeBron has averaged 32.7 points per game when Diddy is courtside. He has also averaged 31.7 points per game across 14 games in front of Beyoncé and Jay-Z. And of the seven major celebrities researched for the article, Usher produced the lowest LeBron average with 28.9 points per game across 28 games—but even that was higher than LeBron's career average of 27.1 points per game.
There's no clear science to all of this research, so you should take it with a grain of salt. But it does offer an interesting look at what the presence of famous superfans like Drake and Rihanna can potentially do for LeBron's performance. Opposing teams might want to keep that in mind when the playoffs roll around and the big stars start showing up for games.