Tonight, because Ray Allen has fake legs that need to be fixed through complicated algorithms, Mickael Pietrus will be starting for the Celtics in their Game 2 matchup with the Atlanta Hawks. Outside of the somewhat noticeable differences — Pietrus is French, Ray Allen is a Hall of Famer, only one of them is often considered one of the best shooters ever and cetera — there is one not so obvious distinction between the two.
See if you can catch it while they talk about their pregame rituals. First, Ray Allen, who explained how his injury is affecting his carefully crafted routine to CSNNE’s Jessica Camerato.
“I don’t eat lunch on game day, but I do eat lunch when I’m not playing,” he explained. “When I know I’m playing, I don’t eat lunch and I know I’m going to be at the gym at a certain time, get my shots up. I basically prepare to eat so I know I’m going to be playing in a game I need food in my system. But since I haven’t been playing, I’ll go home and eat lunch because I don’t need to get up after my nap and eat a pregame meal to be ready for four quarters of basketball.”
“It’s depending on how the game goes,” Pietrus said. “I don’t project myself, say I have to bring more points for the team. I just have to be Mickael Pietrus, bring the all-around game: rebounding, defense. I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself. Yeah, I have to score. Yeah, I have to eat some chicken. Yeah, I have to eat some beef. At the end of the day it’s basketball.”
Finally, we’ll know the true answer to the question of whether or not you should eat before playing basketball. I’m not saying this one-game sample size that compares to players with way different games and talent levels will be the deciding factor on settling this issue, but it could certainly help clear some things up.
Personally, I play better when I don’t eat before playing basketball. Even if it’s something small, like a sushi roll (shoutout to Rajon Rondo), I feel a half-step slow, which is really bad when you are already like three steps slow. But on the other hand, having food in you really helps with the whole not passing out thing, so I can see both sides of the argument.
Tonight we get our answer, kinda. If Mickael Pietrus plays sluggishly, then we’ll know not to eat before a game. If he goes nuts, things are still inconclusive. Nonetheless, I am thankful we get to see this experiment play out in the NBA. It’s not every day you get to use world class athletes as test subjects.