Lebron James finds it ''humbling'' to be referenced in so many songs.

The basketball legend insists artists never ask his permission to use his name in their tracks, but he is always flattered whenever he suddenly hears a shout-out on the radio.

Appearing on 'Carpool Karaoke', host James Corden asked: ''You get referenced in a lot of hip-hop songs, rap songs -- do they have to call you up, or do you just hear it on the radio?''

He replied: ''No I just hear it. It's always surprising -- it comes on the radio or the satellite radio or whatever I'm listening to. Then I would hear my name, and it's like, 'Oh, let me rewind that. Let me see what actually they said.' It's humbling. It's cool.''

The 32-year-old sportsman went on to describe Jay-Z as his ''big brother'' when James asked if his namecheck in the rapper's hit 'Empire State of Mind' - which features the line ''If Jeezy's paying LeBron, I'm paying Dwyane Wade'' - was his favourite.

He replied: ''Any time Jay says my name, it's just very humbling. He's like my big brother, so he takes care of me.''

During the episode, James and LeBron sang along to Ice Cube's 'It Was a Good Day' - and the rapper himself suddenly popped up from the back seat.

Meanwhile, the 38-year-old presenter recently singled out Bruno Mars as his favourite 'Carpool' guest.

He said: ''I mean, it's a bit like picking your children, you know what I mean? But in terms of the one I've enjoyed doing the most, I think it was probably Bruno. Like, I really, I got a bit depressed afterwards ... Because I'd been looking forward to it for so long and I'm such a fan. When we were done, I was like, 'Oh. I'm not gonna get to do that again,' you know, and so that was incredible.''