The NBA season just ended in thrilling fashion (congrats Cleveland), but amongst all of the exciting storylines, we felt that one in particular was overlooked.
We’re not really sure why no one else caught it, but we discovered a trend that fuels the champions of the past AND the superstars of today — Steph Curry and his entire 73-9 Warriors team, the ’08 title-winning Celtics, and even Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin.
Get ready. You should probably make sure you’re seated. Are you ready??
The NBA Diet Secret?!? They ALL eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before a game.
I know! The sandwich you last ate in the first grade!
You might not know this about me, but I like to shoot hoops. I mean, I’m not sinking 30-footers like Steph Curry, or pinning the ball off the backboard like LeBron James… but I can hang.
And I like to keep tabs on what the pros are doing, which is how I uncovered this odd trend. The last few months, it seems like I can’t surf the interwebs for 30 seconds without hearing about some NBA player and his PB & J.
A brief history of the NBA Diet + PBJ love story:
2008: Bulls guard Ben Gordon describes his pregame meal as a “peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the locker room.” I remember reading this at the time (and stealing it as MY pre-game fuel).
2008/9: The Boston Celtics, champions of this season, owed a lot of their success to new acquisitions and future hall-of-famers Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. The latter brought an on-court intensity that was unmatched by his peers in the league. before or since. He also brought peanut butter and jelly. Says teammate Paul Pierce, “We didn’t even have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until he got to Boston. So then he made our ballboys make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everybody.” Here’s a video of a proud KG explaining how he started a PB & J tradition during that season’s finals.
2013: Glen Davis, former Celtic, spreads (no pun intended) the pregame routine to his new team, the Orlando Magic. He makes the rookies get the PB & J.
2015: Russell Westbrook describes his meticulous method for making a PB & J on Jimmy Kimmel. Diagonal cuts. Solid form by Russ.
2015: The Golden State Warriors document their PB & J routine, complete with how the strength and conditioning coach spreads it over the bread, and refer to the meal as their “sixth man.” (I know. C’mon.)
2016: After the coaching staff made the controversial (but pretty smart, if you ask us) decision to remove all sugar from their diet, those same Warriors “went to war,” demanding that PB&J be added back to their plane and locker room. They ultimately won (their theme for most of this year… ahem), and the PB & J ban was lifted.
2016: Blake Griffin and Draymond Green both star in pretty hilarious PB & J themed commercials.
The Logic Behind the NBA Diet Consisting of a Pregame PB & J
Aside from making you feel like a kid, which is never a bad thing, PB & J provides the best of all worlds: protein + healthy fat + simple carbs + complex carbs, all in an easily digestible little package.
But these NBA stars are getting a few things wrong. Just look at one of Klay Thompson’s rare misses!
via @NBA Instagram
Get outta here with that Wonder Bread, Klay!
(Did we just uncover the real reason why the Warriors lost the Finals?)
Factor’s Upgraded PB & J
Go with bread from a local bakery, or at least a sprouted version that’s not full of doughy preservatives. We recommend our friends at KNOW Foods — an all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free alternative that we’ll be using in our own meals going forward.
(Sidebar: How pissed would you be if one of next week’s meals was a PB & J sandwich? Just checking.)
Natural peanut butter ALL THE WAY. The only two ingredients should be peanuts and salt. No added oil; no added sugar.
Look for fruit spreads or preserves over commercialized jelly. (But be aware, ALL fruit spread is high in sugar, especially glucose.) Find a brand without added sugar (or any ingredients that aren’t pectin and fruit). We like Bonne Maman.
For bonus points, skip the jelly altogether in favor of some honey or half a banana.
See? You don’t have to grow a foot to be like LeBron, or chew on a slimy mouthguard all the time to emulate Steph Curry.
All you have to do is eat PB & J!
And you’ll be just like them.
(I think that’s how it works.)