Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

LeBron James is kind of in a new McDonald’s commercial, which you can see right above these words, and while I’d vote for the Big Mac as the best menu item, I very much appreciate “The Decision” zing that comes right at the end of this spot. Therefore, if you’re voting McNuggets as the best just so you can make a LeBron zinger, I get it.

But LeBron’s not the only NBA player who is crazy about McNuggs, as I accidentally found out while checking in to things since the only NBA news of note today is the must-be-a-joke announcement that the Chicago Bulls’ trainer was named Athletic Trainer of the Year. For instance, a few modern legends showed up in a commercial many moons ago, only to be knock-knock joked right in the face.

Craziest part of this commercial? This came out in 1997, but two of these guys played in the league THIS YEAR. You cannot kill Grant Hill or Juwan Howard, and they cannot die. They are basketball Highlanders, of which there are allowed to be two because everyone needs someone to play against.

The second craziest part of this commercial? The response was so overwhelming that they had to do a follow-up.

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We all know that this postseason has been marred by injuries, which sucks, but the weirder thing is how players from coast to coast have been getting sick during these playoffs. Luol Deng had a spinal tap, Nate Robinson was throwing up on the sidelines and I am sure there are some non-Bulls in there too, but those guys are pretty notable re: illness.

Two such guys are J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin, both of whom are New York Knicks and both of whom are battling sickness with a huge Game 4 coming up tonight. And that’s exactly why this report from Monday night is so funny. From the New York Post:

J.R. Smith missed practice again yesterday and was called “a game-time decision’’ by coach Mike Woodson. But there’s good news on Smith’s health as he was spotted Sunday at about 10:30 p.m. at Steak N Shake.

Smith was seen at the downtown Indianapolis landmark with his brother Chris Smith and Knicks forward James White, who will be deactivated tonight.

Smith was holding a bag of food.

Oh snap — J.R. Smith was caught eating food! Can you even believe it? On the night before a playoff game, no less. Inconceivable.

But wait, there’s a double oh snap coming, because that smoking gun bag of food might have brought him back to life. From Newsday’s Alan Hahn:

Smith and Martin stayed away from the team on Monday while battling a virus but were back on the court for Tuesday’s morning shoot-around. Woodson on Monday said Smith “could be a game-time decision” while Martin’s illness is “not as severe, but he’s headed in that direction.”

Both said they plan to play tonight.

If I’m Steak ‘n Shake’s marketing team, I am finding the biggest whiteboard I can and starting to jot down slogans, because this situation is a gold mine. They could go with “Burgers so good you won’t be sick any more” or “Steak ‘n Shake — we’ll get you healthy” or “Steakburgers, because you wouldn’t want to miss shootaround” or “You tryin’ to get the Steakburger?” or “Sixth Man, burger fan” with J.R. Smith’s face popping up around a burger while he poses or like a million other things that are silly because an NBA player was eating a sloppy burger at a casual dining establishment the night before a game when he was sick.

Of course, the real key will be seeing if he can improve on his 11-42 shooting (3-16 from three) through the first three games against the Pacers. If he throws up another stinker, it won’t matter how many ways he took his chili. I mean, Steak n’ Shake can take you pretty far in life, but those thin, smashed patties and those thin, salty fries aren’t a guarantee of playoff success, otherwise I would own several championship rings. It’s like that old saying — “You can lead a J.R. Smith to Steak n’ Shake, but you can’t make his shots go in.”

(Side note: No reports on what Kenyon Martin had to eat last night. Probably Cracker Barrel.)


An amazing cover isn’t all that Sports Illustrated got out of Kevin Durant for their first playoff issue. They also coaxed the NBA’s first fruit-based efficiency metaphor out of the league’s second-best player. And since it’s so good, I’m not going to make you wait any longer to devour it. From Point Forward:

To Durant, basketball is an orchard, and every shot an apple. “Let’s say you’ve got 40 apples on your tree,” Durant explains. “I could eat about 30 of them, but I’ve begun limiting myself to 15 or 16. Let’s take the wide-open three and the post-up at the nail. Those are good apples. Let’s throw out the pull-up three in transition and the step-back fadeaway. Those are rotten apples. The three at the top of the circle — that’s an in-between apple. We only want the very best on the tree.”

First things first — is Kevin Durant saying he can eat 30 apples in a sitting or is this strictly an analogy? Because 30 apples really seems like a lot. Heck, 15 or 16 seems like a total gut bomb, so I can’t imagine eating double that. I don’t want to be too judgmental about things, but 30 apples is way too many for anyone but a horse to eat. Let’s hope he was just speaking metaphorically, otherwise he’s going to be pretty backed up.

As for the basketball half of this, all it takes is a look at Durant’s shot location data to see how serious he is about his apple picking. Not only did Durant take fewer threes this season than in any of the previous three, he’s also taking fewer shots from 10-23 feet than in any other season of his career. Oh, and he led the NBA in total points and finished second in points per game while not even leading his team in shot attempts. How do you like those apples? (Literally impossible to not include this phrase, deal with it.)

And finally, just to extend what Durant is talking about when deciding which shots are which apples — the slam dunk is the honeycrisp apple of the basketball shot world. Not only are they tasty, you also couldn’t find them back in the 1960s. I’m not saying it’s a perfect comparison, but they’re definitely both delicious.


Getting paid millions of dollars to play basketball is cool, but you know what’s even cooler? No, not a billion dollars, Justin Timberlake — perks. Perks are what is cool about basketball. Whether it be free shoes, all the sweatpants you could ever want or access to a swimming pool pretty much any time you ever want to take a dip, it’s all good baby bay-bay. Perks are where it’s at.

But here’s a perk I’ve never really considered: gum. Gum is good to chew, inexpensive and pretty easily obtained, but it’s still better if you get it for free. And if you’re the Washington Wizards, not only do you have all the free gum in the world, you also have the best selection in the league. It’s a win-win re: gum. From D.C. Sports Bog’s Sarah Kogum:

“I like the fact that they have Strawberry and Grape Bubblicious,” said a smiling Temple. “I hadn’t seen Bubblicious in a while, so when I got here, I was like wow. Bubblicious? So I had to chew some. I don’t see locker rooms have Bubblicious. Usually they have Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s. The Dentyne and stuff like that. But they have everything here.”

You know how it is — you finally see a rare gum in the wild and you just have to give it a chew. Been there, most recently with some Dr. Pepper Hubba Bubba that is just as good as you’re imagining. Shoutout to all the gums in the whole wide world, even that Bazooka garbage that turns in to sticky gum nuggets within seconds after entering your mouth.

About now you’re probably wondering why the Wizards have so much gum. That’s understandable, since it feels like we’re diving in to a whole new world with this expose (expoxanthan?) on the NBA’s gum trade. Fair enough, though you won’t be surprised to find out the main reason behind the gum overload is the main reason behind a lot of things in today’s NBA: Michael Jordan.

“The GOAT, the greatest to ever do it, chewed gum, so I think it’s spurred basketball players chewing gum,” Garrett Temple told me. “[Michael Jordan] used to always have gum in his mouth, chewing it while we was waiting for free throws or something like that. They’d always show that. That’s the reason I always tried to chew gum, but I got to the point where I found myself losing my breath quicker when I’d run up and down the court having to chew gum also.”

Cartier Martin also offered the Jordan explanation.

“I think a lot of guys did start chewing gum because of Jordan, and watching him,” he said. “And it just became a habit for other guys. Now it’s just kind of a trending thing in the league.”

Dag, been there too, and maybe you have too since I’m not the only one who tried to perfect MJ’s circular horse-chewing gum steez. I mean, if Bill Wennington tried it, I’m sure everyone else did too. And even though I consider myself a generally coordinated person who can handle playing basketball whilst chewing on a spearmint stick, I have to agree with Garrett Temple that chomping on some gum can really throw you off. Maybe I’m crazy but it just feels a bit weird to be running and chewing, maybe because I’ve never been a fan of eating on the go.

But now that we know the Wizards have the gum game on lock, we need a full investigation in to each team’s gum situation and how/if it affects their free agent recruiting. I’m guessing there’s no LeBron’s Lightning Lemonade in the Cavaliers’ locker room, but maybe it’ll be there in the summer of 2014. Or maybe not. All I’m saying is, we need to know.

Be right back. Gotta go watch the entirety of Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious” for the first time since college. I’m sure you understand. Goonie goo goo.


I know you’ve been wondering what noted Canadian big men Tristan Thompson and Andrew Nicholson think about bagged milk, that most minor of phenomena that us Americans just can’t stop thinking is weird. That’s why I asked both of them about those silly little baggies.

Here’s Tristan Thompson.

TBJ: Which do you miss more about Canada — loonies and toonies or bagged milk?

Thompson: Bagged milk.

TBJ: Why?

Thompson: Cause it’s easier to just cut it open with scissors.

TBJ: The jugs kind of seem like a hassle.

Thompson: Yeah, exactly. I’m kinda tired of these cardboards you have to open up and all this. It’s too much work.

And here’s Andrew Nicholson.

TBJ: Which do you miss more about Canada — loonies and toonies or bagged milk?

Nicholson: (laughs) I do kinda missed bagged milk.

TBJ: It’s easier.

Nicholson: It is easier. American’s don’t realize that.

So there you go — bagged milk is better than dollar coins and opening cardboards is too much work. This has been your Canadian milk bag report of the day.

This is an actual live advertisement read from today’s episode of the NBA Lockdown podcast (starts at 13:36) that’s hosted by Bruce Bowen. It’s so bizarre that I just had to whip up a quick visualization since B-Bow might be the best live reader since the original Larry Sanders.

And hey, just remember — that’s B-E-R-R-I-E-S. Dot com.

(via Josh)