Football is to Thanksgiving as basketball is to Christmas? Almost. The NBA has actually been playing on Christmas Day since 1947. One of the five games this year includes the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, which marks LeBron James's first time back on the court in Miami since leaving the Heat earlier this year. While many of us will be filling our faces with everything from roast turkey and short ribs to bouche de noel and Christmas cookies on the 25th, players like Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat need to keep their cravings in check. We caught up with the funnyman baller and enthusiastic cook to talk about Tex-Mex traditions, game day food and the challenges of cooking when you're almost 7 feet tall.
What did your family eat on Christmas when you were a kid in Texas?
Growing up we always went over to my Aunt's house on Christmas Eve and cooked Tex-Mex food. We'd have tacos, enchiladas and my friend's mother down the street always made us some fresh tamales. They were awesome! It became something of a tradition after a while.
What do you eat on Christmas now?
I eat room service for Christmas because we're usually playing on the road. Last year we were in LA and my family wasn't with me because my daughter had just been born and was too young to fly. I was by myself after the game Christmas night and ended up eating a burger and fries. I usually like a burger and fries but it's not as good when you're by yourself without your family on Christmas.
How do you feel about playing on Christmas?
I like it. I used to always watch those games growing up as a kid so it's always been exciting to me. It's fun to play a game when there's a buzz in the arena. And it's a home game this year so I'll be able to spend time with my kids first and watch them open up presents. That's been a rare thing in my house because we're usually away from home during the holidays.
What do you eat on game days?
For breakfast I always eat something like oatmeal and a muffin or something before shoot around. I love coffee so I always have that too to get my morning started. I never really eat the same thing for lunch. Usually something like pasta or rice with chicken, steak or fish. Nothing special. And I usually have a PB&J right before the game. After the game I'm gonna eat whatever we have!
What's the toughest part about cooking when you're 6'11?
Working with the counters when I'm cutting and prepping food. Counters are usually too low for me so I have to bend a lot. After a while my back starts hurting a little and I have to take a break.
What's on your wish list for the kitchen for Christmas this year?
I pretty much have everything I need for the kitchen. Probably the best gift for me this year would be a cool cookbook. There are so many good ones out there.
Any New Year's resolutions?
Just to get in the kitchen more. I've kind of let it fall by the wayside a bit since the season takes a lot out of me so I'm usually tired when I get home.
If Miami vs. Cleveland was a food rivalry, what dishes would represent each city?
I'd probably do some arroz con pollo for the Miami dish and a nice classic steak and potatoes for Cleveland. Flavor and culture from each city!