During last night’s Hawks-Celtics games, TNT cut to a locker room scene of Timofey Mozgov getting busy with some pizza. Not surprisingly, the internet loved it. It’s was instaGIFed, meme’d and probably put on Facebook where people liked it. Just guessing that but if it didn’t happen then I’m sincerely very sorry for misleading you.
But the thing about pizza is, it’s showed up in the NBA forever. Take, for instance, all of these incredible instances of Earth’s greatest food mixing with the Earth’s greatest sport.
Wilt Chamberlain Eats 100 Pizzas — March 3, 1962
Much is made of Wilt Chamberlain’s famous 100-point game, but people seem to always gloss over the fact that Wilt ate 100 whole pizzas in a single sitting the next night. While this might be only his third-most legendary record, it’s still an impressive feat that will likely never be replicated. Of course, historians will tell you that the size of a pizza in the 1960s doesn’t compare to today’s pizzas, but it’s still an impressive performance, especially considering the lack of eating training and pizza delivery conditions during the era.
Sam Perkins Plays Finals Game in Pizza-Stuffed Jersey — June 9, 2000
Having failed in his attempt to play a preseason game while wearing a bandanna, Sam Perkins ups the unnecessary accessory ante by playing Game 2 of the 2000 NBA Finals with several slices of pizza shoved down his jersey. Whether the pizza was to serve as a distraction for Shaquille O’Neal or as a snack if any of the Pacers got hungry no one will ever know, as Perkins refuses to talk about the incident to this day. If you ask him about it, he’ll pretend like it never happened.
Rod Strickland Sneaks a Slice on the Bench — November 16, 2002
After barfing up pregame hot dogs during his stint with the Bullets, Strickland decides to give junk food another shot, this time opting for a nice piece of pepperoni ‘za during a loss to the Pacers. Gary Trent and Marc Jackson split the other seven pieces.
Carmelo Anthony Gets Hazed — September 22, 2003
As part of his rookie hazing, Carmelo Anthony actually falls for the “It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiornio” trick that Voshon Lenard pulls. Embarrassed to the core, this seemingly trivial event sets in motion Carmelo Anthony’s exit from Denver, as he is overheard telling associates that he “can’t believe the Nuggets would do that to him.”
Eddy Curry Shuts Down a Pizza Hut — July 26, 2006
Taking the term “All You Can Eat” as seriously as possible, Eddy Curry hits a Pizza Hut buffet. In his four-hour eating session, Curry eats 15 large supreme pizzas, 578 breadsticks, 44 cinnamon breadsticks, an entire head of lettuce covered in blue cheese dressing, four each of the cherry and apple dessert pizzas and 31 Diet Cokes. His would-be bill comes out to nearly $300, but thanks to a promotion, he pays just $5.99 (plus tax and tip).
Hedo Turkoglu Puts Pizza on the Map — May 17, 2009
For the first time in his NBA career, Hedo Turkoglu is recognized as something other than “the other European guy on the Kings” or “that dude that had the frosted tips.” This is way better.
Pizza Magnates Try to Buy Teams — Summer 2010 and 2011
The founder of a California pizza chain and the guy who owns Little Caesar’s try to buy the Hawks and Pistons, respectively. Hedo Turkoglu immediately requests a trade to both teams, causing both owners to back out for fear of escalating costs.
Kenyon Martin Gets a Pizza Tattoo on his Neck — April 14, 2011
Long ridiculed for his oral-based neck tattoos, the Nuggets forward shows up for practice rocking a new piece of ink — a line drawing of a slice of pizza. Trina is devastated but everyone agrees that this is a good look.
Chris Andersen One-Ups Kenyon Martin — April 15, 2011
Not to be outdone by his Nuggets teammate, Chris Andersen shows up to a game the next day with a full-color “FREE PIZZA” on his throat. From here on out, Andersen vows, he will buy anyone a slice of pizza who can touch his neck without him noticing.
Timofey Mogzov Goes Viral — May 8, 2012
Just like Hedo Turkoglu, Mozgov uses a pregame slice of pizza to change his reputation. Unfortunately, when your name has become synonymous with getting dunked on, it just leads announcers to say that your slice has been “Mozgoved.”