While many may think that the nation’s top basketball players fuel up on organic snacks and artisan meals, the players’ actually rely on a much simpler concoction to prepare them for peak performance: PB&J.
NBA legend holds that Kevin Garnett, as an 2007-08 Boston Celtic, joined a teammate for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich snack during pregame preparations and went on to dominate that evening. Not leaving anything to chance, Garnett then requested a PB&J for every game.
Bryan Doo, the Celtics strength and conditioning coach at the time, was responsible for providing sandwhiches.
“If Kevin didn’t get his routine down, he’d be pissed,” Doo told ESPN. “Even if he didn’t eat them, he needed them to be there.”
After the team won the NBA title that year, the PB&J trend truly caught on.
The Milwaukee Bucks seem to currently boast the league’s greatest commitment to the peanut butter and jelly mainstay. ESPN reports that the team provides a buffet of PB&J necessities: “smooth, crunchy and almond butters, an assortment of jellies (raspberry, strawberry, grape, blueberry, apricot), three breads from a local bakery (white, wheat and gluten-free) and Nutella,” even traveling with the ingredients. The team also offers PB&J-flavored oatmeal, PB&J protein shakes, and PB&J waffles and PB&J pancakes. Other teams notably confident in the power of peanut butter and jelly include the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Portland Trail Blazers, the San Antonio Spurs, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Washington Wizards, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Though not the most healthy snack for athletes with such calculated diets, the Lakers’ nutritionist Dr. Cate Shanahan knows better than to try to change tradition.
“The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is absolutely never going to not be in the NBA,” she told ESPN. “And I feel confident saying never.”
Whether it’s comfort, familiarity, or simply good taste, the PB&J is here to stay in the NBA.