What if athletes picked the halftime show?

ESPN The Magazine: Kobe Bryant and Nicki Minaj (2:58)

Go behind the scenes on the making of ESPN The Magazine's Music Issue featuring Kobe Bryant and Nicki Minaj. (2:58)

When the buzzer sounds for halftime, the players head down the tunnel for strategy adjustments, motivational speaking and orange slices. They usually don't get to stay behind and listen to the band on the field or on the court.

What if the athletes were given the chance to book the halftime entertainment?

In this photo gallery from The Music Issue of ESPN The Magazine, we let the athletes choose -- and gave them the chance to interact with the artists.

In these video clips, you'll learn why Kobe Bryant respects Nicki Minaj, why hip-hop has always been a part of his basketball career and whether he has any plans to record another rap album. You'll hear Hope Solo tell singer-songwriter Skylar Grey about her very short career as a harmonica player. You'll see Yonder Alonso of the San Diego Padres and Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles talk about how much they enjoyed hanging out with rap artist Yandel and how hip-hop is a part of baseball clubhouse atmosphere.

The Music Issue of ESPN The Magazine hits newsstands on Feb. 3.