Mario Chalmers Reveals LeBron James’ Bizarre Pre-Game Ritual

Mario Chalmers reveals a weird pre-game superstition during his days with LeBron James.


Every player has their own way of getting prepped for a game, and LeBron James is no different. Speaking on the ‘Playmaker’ podcast, one of LeBron’s former teammates, Heat legend Mario Chalmers, shed some light on his pre-game ritual, which involved a bizarre locker room superstition.

“That man will lay his whole outfit on the floor before the game and make sure everybody walks around it,” said Chalmers. “One time the media walked over the jersey, he snapped and he made the equipment manager go get him a whole new jersey, shorts, tights, headband, armband, socks, and laid it right back out. Like, it’s an OCD superstition. You better walk all the way around it. Like, it’s a chalk outline.”

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Apparently, LeBron was very serious about this gear before the game and wouldn’t let anybody step over it on their way through the locker room. And while it may sound weird, it’s not unusual for players to get superstitious about their routine and it’s happened plenty of times before.

Jason Terry used to wear the shorts of the opposing team to bed before each game and Michael Jordan used to wear his “lucky shorts” that he would sometimes wear underneath his NBA uniform. In the case of LeBron James, has practiced several pre-game rituals over the years. Arguably his most famous one is the legendary “chalk toss” which was an instant crowd-pleaser.

As for the jersey laying, only LeBron knows why he feels the need to take such actions but how can you argue against the results? With averages of 25.0 points, 7.9 assists, and 7.2 rebounds per game this season, LeBron hasn’t lost a step after 20+ years and it’s safe to say that he’d better off sticking to whatever formula has worked for him this far.

LeBron James Has A Tedious Routine

It’s no secret that LeBron James pours millions every year into preserving his body and strength. Superstitious traditions aside, LeBron’s longevity is traced directly to his daily habits which he has built up over two decades of experience.

To prepare for just one game, James will prepare by lifting weights, jumping rope, and getting several reps on the court in the preliminary minutes. He’ll arrive up to five hours early into the arena just to complete his full routine.

Throughout the course of the entire season, James has taken even more steps to protect his durability, such as planning rest days and limiting his workload on the basketball court. These efforts, along with the investment of millions, are the secret to LeBron’s longevity and it’s the reason why he continues to dominate at almost 40 years old.

While LeBron’s pre-game jersey ritual is hard to explain, it could be worth it for him to have some peace of mind on the court and that’s all that really matters. For one of the best players in the world, it’s really no trouble to just avoid stepping over his jersey and most teammates would be happy to comply if it means that LeBron is in his right head space before the match.

Today, LeBron has abandoned most of the pre-game theatrics but maintaining a strict routine is still vital for him at this stage of his career and he prepares harder for each game, and every season, than anybody else in the league.

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