Like, really obsessed.
Mega-million dollar contracts. Third and fourth homes. Luxury cars and private jets.
And...peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
Yup. They're a huge part of the NBA lifestyle, too. As revealed in the pages of ESPN Magazine’s most recent issue, the basketball league has an all-consuming, borderline-obsessive devotion to PB&J. It might seem like an early April Fool’s joke, but this “sandwich reovlution” is very real — and it’s got players and coaches alike hooked.
It all began in the 2007-2008 season, when Boston Celtics player Kevin Garnett asked for and devoured one of the delicious, nostalgia-inducing sandwiches before a particularly inspiring game. He began requesting one before each and every game, and before long, the entire team was asking for their own sandwiches.
The rest, as they say, is history: The Trail Blazers now pregame with organic, crustless PB&Js, half of them toasted. The Rockets have wheat bread, white bread, strawberry jam, grape jelly, creamy, and chunky peanut butter ready to go in their kitchen all the time. Players for the Wizards, too, have every fixing option available to them, and the Clippers and the Spurs have PB&J-centric pregame rituals of their own, too. The Pelicans keep PB&J’s stashed almost everywhere, from their hotel rooms to their locker rooms to, yes, even their airplanes.
And the Milwaukee Bucks, meanwhile, have it all: A fully-loaded pregame offering of not just smooth and crunchy peanut butters, but also almond butter, plus a variety of of jellies, bread from a local bakery, and — wait for it! — even Nutella. Players are given PB&J-flavored oatmeal, waffles, shakes, and pancakes.
Carmelo Anthony has a preference for crunchy, with strawberry or blueberry. Stephen Curry goes for Skippy peanut butter and Smucker's jelly.
The list goes on.
No, peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches aren’t the healthiest option. But don’t try telling that to these players. In cases where teams have tried adopting no-sugar policies, players have revolted big-time. “The NBA is covered in experts, obsessed with peak performance,” writes ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. “And still this pillar of grade-school cafeteria lunches is the staple snack of the league.”
Lakers coach Luke Walton seems to have a zen-like understanding of the entire situation. ”Athletes are strange people," he sagely commented to the magazine. "We've got weird habits."
(Walton, too, enjoys a PB&J before each and every game.)
Hungry yet? Try one of our upgraded versions of the ubiquitous PB&J: from chocolate-covered Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups to tangy Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies to the ever-so-fancy PB&J Canapés.