DETROIT -- There's a subsect of the North Carolina locker room that freshman guard Larry Drew calls "Team Beats." He is the self-appointed president of this crew, and its lone membership requirement is that the player own a pair of Beats By Dr. Dre headphones.
Drew got the Beats for Christmas from his father, who told him that all the NBA players were wearing them. Apparently Mr. Drew had seen the LeBron James YouTube in which he passes out custom red-and-gold versions to the entire Cavs team as gifts.
I actually got these for Christmas, and they were incredible with bass, but I had to return them because of one deal-breaker: They leak copious amounts of noise, which means everyone in the room with you can hear what you're cranking from your iPod. My brother started laughing at me about 10 seconds into the first song I played, and named it from 25 feet away. This basically meant they'd be unusable in any press room, so I had to send them back. Drew recounted a similar scene from the Carolina bus the first time he used them: "It was real quiet, and everybody on the bus could hear me, and some of them said to turn it down. But I said, 'Naw, man, these are the beats! That's what they're made for.'"
Apparently, in the hoops world, this was a selling point: freshman Ed Davis and junior Ty Lawson soon purchased them, and Drew named them his vice presidents. Junior Deon Thompson and senior Danny Green followed -- without cabinet positions; Drew just considers them "add-ons" -- and Team Beats was born.
Senior Marcus Ginyard, the wise veteran of the locker room, shook his head on Sunday as he looked at Davis wearing the Beats. "Those things are too loud, man," Ginyard said. "[Davis] won't be able to hear in a couple of years. He could be sitting over there" -- all the way across an NFL-sized dressing room in Ford Field -- "and I could hear every single word if it's on full blast. It's annoying."
Ginyard took out his iPhone and popped in a couple of Apple Earbuds, a far more conservative listening option. "The Beats," Davis said when he took off his headphones a few minutes later, "aren't for everybody."