JaVale McGee is in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career as the starting center for the West-leading Lakers. It turns out that McGee has been similarly successful off the court as well.
McGee has long been involved in the music industry through his producer alter ego, Pierre. He released an eponymous album in April 2018 (McGee has his own studio in Inglewood where he records), and also collaborated with former Lakers Lonzo Ball and Lance Stephenson on a project last season.
Now, McGee is part of an even bigger team-up, as he produced and wrote one of the tracks on Justin Bieber’s newest album Changes. The song is called “Available”.
Make sure you guys go a stream/buy the new @justinbieber album “Changes” !!! I was blessed to write and produce on the song “Available”! 2020 is about elevation and growth and following your dreams and this has always been one of mine to be a producer! KEEP GOING2020HBD @poobear pic.twitter.com/wMM7U4Tmpm— Javale McGee (@JaValeMcGee) February 14, 2020
As McGee indicates, being a producer, specifically being involved with a multi-platinum artist like Bieber, is a life-long dream of his. Balancing his musical and athletic ambitions has been a challenge throughout his NBA career — McGee told Bleacher Report in 2018 that his platform as a basketball player allows him to promote his music, but it also prevents his work from being evaluated seriously, like a full-time artist.
That might be changing, as more and more NBA players successfully cross over into music. Lou Williams recently released an EP entitled “Syx Piece”, Victor Oladipo made it to the semifinals of The Masked Singer, and the league spotlighted Damian Lillard as Dame D.O.L.L.A. on All-Star Saturday night. As the NBA celebrates the multitude of talents of its players, it becomes easier to acknowledge their abilities outside the league as well.
It makes sense for McGee to collaborate with Bieber, a longtime NBA fan who is a former MVP of the All-Star Celebrity game. There is a mutual respect for the other’s skill set.
Los Angeles has always been a place where athletes can expand their reach into the entertainment industry, like Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appearing in movies during their time with the Lakers. In recent years, LeBron James has taken advantage of his proximity to Hollywood to build SpringHill Entertainment while Danny Green is working his way into media.
McGee is part of a long line of Lakers to be more than just an athlete. His latest foray into music is a reminder of how much more he has to offer.