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Culture Features The Katchup

Six Odd Ways Food Has Shaped The Modern NBA

“I’m always looking for a good story and am always looking for a way to build connections with readers and athletes. The culinary world and food, it’s one of the few things that makes us all human,” shared ESPN Senior NBA Writer, Baxter Holmes, on a recent visit to Foodbeast’s The Katchup podcast.

Holmes has been the writer behind some of the most intriguing stories in the NBA that just so happen to be food-related, uncovering fascinating anecdotes the likes of the NBA’s obsession with peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and even how San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich used extravagant dinners to build the team’s enviable camaraderie.

A hot-button discussion that strikes a chord with foodies and basketball fans alike, the following are a quick rundown of some of these compelling NBA food tales as told by Baxter Holmes.

 

KOBE’S BONE BROTH

According to Holmes, the very first food-related NBA story he wrote was on Kobe Bryant’s special bone broth that he would have before games in the latter stages of his legendary career. “I remember talking to [the Lakers’] strength and conditioning coach about everything it takes to get Kobe up and running, because he was older in his career and had a lot of injuries.” That coach mentioned that they made sure the Black Mamba got his soup of specially made bone broth before games, since the collagen in it was optimal for joint health. “They would contact hotels ahead of time to make sure hey had all the right ingredients, and [Kobe] liked it in different ways.” Father Time stays undefeated, folks.

 

DWIGHT HOWARD’S SUGAR ADDICTION

“He was consuming so much sugar everyday. His hands were tingling because of it and he was having a hard time catching a ball.” In 2013, Dwight Howard was dealing with a serious addiction to sugar, as Holmes revealed in one story that the big man was consuming 24 chocolate bars’ worth of sugar every day — for more than a decade. It all came to a freighting head when Howard started experiencing pre-diabetic symptoms, which thankfully was a wake up call to change his diet immediately.

 

THE LEAGUE’S ODD OBSESSION WITH PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY SANDWICHES

“I would see peanut butter & jelly sandwiches in every locker room before games and I would see them in training facilities.” This James Beard-Award winning Holmes article was a fascinating glimpse into the NBA’s secret addiction to the classic and humble sandwich. Why? Well, simply put, it’s comfort food. No hidden benefits to recovery, no special potency to aid in performance — all they wanted was a soothing memory from childhood. Kevin Garnett had to have strawberry jelly, while Damian Lillard preferred his toasted.

 

EXTRAVAGANT TEAM DINNERS THE KEY TO SAN ANTONIO SPURS’ SUCCESS

“He’s been into wine and food for a long time, like 50 years. And he’s been doing this with the Spurs for like 20 years.” One of Holmes’ more recent stories was an extensive revelation on how San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, with the help of his extensive knowledge of wine and food, used extravagant, Michelin-star caliber wining and dining to build camaraderie within the organization. The close-knit team culture created as a result of these dinners has translated to multiple championships and an organization-wide togetherness that’s become the envy of the entire sports world, and not just the NBA exclusively. Holmes explains, “The amount of people who were involved with the Spurs, still involved with the Spurs, they described these experiences as the backbone of the camaraderie that you would see on the court.”

 

STEVE KERR USED CHARCUTERIE BOARD TO HELP REVOLUTIONIZE BASKETBALL

“Using cranberries and Marcona almonds, Kerr was like ‘Here’s how we want to function.'” When Steve Kerr first came on board as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, he envisioned a potent offense, but hadn’t really constructed and schemed it out yet. At an airport bar, a bartender asked the new coach how the offense would run. Kerr, working with what was immediately available to him, used elements of the charcuterie board he had ordered to illustrate how players would function within his system. Four years and three championships later, the Golden State Warriors have cemented the capability of their high-octane offense predicated on ball and player movement and three-pointers galore — all of which have shaped how the modern NBA game is played today.

 

THE PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS COMBAT THEIR BRUTAL TRAVEL SCHEDULE BY BEING COFFEE SNOBS

I think it’s safe to say that the Portland Trailblazers are coffee snobs. Nevermind the Portlandian factor, but the team’s penchant for quality coffee was documented by Holmes as a way to keep the players fresh and alert. We’re talking the team’s training and performance staff grinding beans and brewing fancy French press coffee right before the start of the game. And with the Blazers having to travel more miles over the course of a season than any other team in American professional sports, it’s understandable that their sports performance specialists become baristas right before tip-off. “They’re traveling 250 miles a day. Imagine if every single day you flew from New York to Pittsburgh — for eight months,” illustrated Holmes.

Categories
Deals Fast Food

We All Get Free Taco Bell Because Lebron Choked At Home

Lebron keeps taking L’s against the Warriors this year, but at least one of those losses has led to free tacos for everyone in the U.S.

Taco Bell held a promotion for the NBA Finals called, “Steal a game, steal a taco.” In essence, one of the two teams had to win a game away from home in order to “steal a game.”

With Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors going into Cleveland and putting a beating on the Cavaliers in game 3 of the NBA Finals, we all get a free Doritos Locos Taco on June 13, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m, local time.

Whether you’re a fan of basketball or not, you can be grateful for free tacos.

It’s only one taco per person, while supplies last, but we’ll be one taco richer than we were yesterday.

Thank you for not being able to protect your home floor, Lebron. Even when you lose, this taco blessing makes you the real MVP.

 

 

Who: Taco Bell

What: Free Doritos Locos Taco

When: Wednesday, June 13

Where: Participating Taco Bell Locations

Why: Because the Warriors went to Cleveland and almost made Lebron cry.

Categories
Celebrity Grub Deals Fast Food

Lebron Blew It, Now We All Get Free Taco Bell

Whether you love or hate Lebron James, at least be thankful that he is the reason we all get free tacos.

Taco Bell ran a “Steal a game, steal a taco” promo for the 2017 NBA Finals, where they’d offer everyone in the U.S. a free Doritos Locos Taco if one of the home teams lost.

Well, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost last night’s home game to the Golden State Warriors, so that means on June 13, you can walk up to the cashier at your local Taco Bell between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and walk out with a free taco, while supplies last.

If you’re lucky enough to have several Taco Bells within a 10 mile radius, just roll up to every one of them, get your taco, and eat like a king on that fat Tuesday.

Thanks for the free tacos, ‘Bron.

Who: Taco Bell
What: One Free Doritos Locos Taco
When: Tuesday, June 13, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. local time
Where: All participating Taco Bells across the country
Why: Because Lebron’s trash and got punked by Kevin Durant at home

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Kevin Durant And His Restaurant Are Getting BLASTED On Yelp

By now, you might have heard that NBA superstar Kevin Durant announced he would take his talents to the Bay Area and become a member of the Golden State Warriors.

It should be noted that business is business, but some salty sports fans took to Yelp to express their disapproval of Kevin Durant’s decision, by attacking his restaurant, KD’s Southern Cuisine.

OKC fans weren’t the only people trolling the page. Die hard Golden State Warriors fans jumped in to Welcome KD, while savagely mocking Thunder supporters. It got to the point where Yelp Support had to clean up the mess.

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Within the past 24 hours, Yelp! users have been writing their in length about apparent disgust with his restaurant and him as a person. To be fair, KD’s has a 3.5 star rating, which is average. It seems unclear if KD’s name sake will depart from it’s home on Johnny Bench Ave., anytime soon.

Although it’s hard to believe that the majority of reviews aren’t even from people that LIVE in Oklahoma City, or really even about the food in general — but the trolls keep coming.

User BB (Canucklehead) H, gave KD’s 3 stars, but made a snarky comment about serving Kraft Mac n’ Cheese in a Klay pot. Although, the account’s location is set to Canada. Umm, okay.

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Yelper Jordan C., from Ohio.,  gave a 1-star rating and talked about his dreams getting thrown in the toilet. How can someone be this upset after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the championship? Um, Jordan, you know Cleveland is in Ohio, right? Why are you here?

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Troy A., got super metaphorical. Even found a photo of Kevin Durant in a chef’s hat — or made it. Either way, we’ll be over here if you need us, Troy.

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Charlie S., from Mill Valley, CA said the  restaurant was, “great” but STILL gave it 2 stars!? C’mon, fam!

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Warriors fans didn’t seem too eager to try KD’s but welcomed him in the form of a Yelp review. Because how else would you welcome a new player in 2016? So, yeah.

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On Thursday, as Kevin Durant was introduced to the media by Golden State’s management, he referred to meeting the Warriors as an, “organic” experience, which is ironic because the Bay Area is (probably) full of hipster vegans on organic-only diets. That’s a far cry from the southern home-style cooking his restaurant was serving up in Oklahoma.

Hey, if can’t take the heat — get out of the kitchen.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

NBA Champ Loses 22 Pounds After Cutting Sugar, Shows Off Sweet New Look

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When Netflix and chill goes wrong, you end up just watching documentaries that convince you to do all kinds of crazy things, like go vegan, or hate Sea World. Andrew Bogut, the 7-foot center of the NBA world champion Golden State Warriors, said he watched a documentary about the dangers of sugar and decided to stop eating sugary foods.

Bogut told CSN Bay Area that he watched “Is Sugar the New Fat?” and the film impacted him so much, he ended up dropping 22-pounds of mass from his yeti-like frame.

Bugut used to run around 275 pounds and is reportedly hovering around 253 now.

“It’s unbelievable, man,” Bogut told CSN Bay Area. “(Sugar) is in absolutely everything. I have a couple friends that are label readers. I used to give them so much (crap), telling them, ‘Man, just eat it. Stop reading the label.’ And now I’m one of those guys.”

His teammates have even said the 30-year-old looks a lot more spry on the basketball court and doesn’t look like he’s running with with cement shoes.

This was Bogut after last year’s NBA Finals

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This was him in a preseason interview last week

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Maybe not a dramatic change, but you can definitely see the slimness in his face. He’s an NBA center and still has to keep a little size on himself.

Bogut said he watched the sugary documentary in August, so those 22 pounds have come in about two months, which isn’t too shabby considering I’ve gained about 22 pounds in that same time frame.

h/t brobible