There are worse addictions out there, but it’s still kind of strange that there are numerous NBA players who absolutely need a peanut butter and jelly fix to get through the day.
From future hall-of-famer Kevin Garnett to rookies like the Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes documented the serious league-wide addiction that players can’t seem to shake.
The reason is uncertain, but for some like Garnett, it came from superstition. For others, like New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, they just kind of adopted the trend.
Since PB&Js aren’t exactly at the healthiest meal option, in a sport where your physical abilities are everything, players have literally had to fight to keep these sandwiches in their diet.
Check out some of the superstars and their documented stories with the sweet, sweet sandwich:
After getting a new physical trainer in 2015, the Golden State Warriors literally had to fight to keep their PB&Js. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry said he felt “shook” when the sandwiches disappeared from the team jet. The team was OK with doing away with candy, cookies, and soda, but when their peanut butter and jelly and sandwiches were taken away, it was a real problem. Interim coach Luke Walton fought along with them and they eventually, after daily complaints, appeared again, according to the Wall Street Journal.
When Garnett played for the Boston Celtics, strawberry PB&Js became part of his pre-game ritual after he noticed he played well after eating them. The Celtics strength and conditioning coach didn’t mind the sandwich ritual as it seemed better than the usual greasy food players eat pre-game.
In the case of Atlanta Hawks’ Dwight Howard, he had a full-on candy addiction where he ate up to 24 candy bars a day. When he finally shook his need for candy in 2013, he fought his nutritionist to let him keep his PB&Js. He didn’t get to keep his usual sandwich, but they settled on soft sourdough with organic peanut butter and low-sugar jelly.
Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram has been criticized for his thin frame, so maybe binging on these sammiches would help. Ingram’s pretty picky with his sandwiches, as he only uses organic ingredients, and goes with grape jelly. The rook thought his addiction might not translate well in the NBA, but he soon found out that it was a league-wide thing and kept with it.
The Latvian-born New York Knicks star didn’t even know what a peanut butter jelly sandwich was, but as soon as he joined the league, he immediately fell in love with them.