Why Kevin Garnett, Celtics Are Responsible For NBA’s PB&J Obsession

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When he inevitably enters the Basketball Hall of Fame, Kevin Garnett will be recognized for revolutionizing two things: the NBA’s power forward position and its snack routine.

About that second part.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes published a story Wednesday that’s spreading across the internet about the league’s “secret addiction” with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Virtually every NBA team offers PB&Js to its players before games nowadays; the Milwaukee Bucks supposedly consume up to 30 of the sandwiches on game day and travel with the necessary ingredients.

So, how did this classic sandwich randomly become the NBA’s jam? It started, of course, with Garnett and the 2007-08 Boston Celtics.

According to Celtics strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo, the league’s PB&J obsession began when an “unnamed” C’s player complained to him of hunger pangs and decided he could “go for a PB&J.” Garnett apparently heard him and barked out an order: “Yeah, let’s get on that.”

The rest, Holmes writes, is history:

“Garnett had not, to that point, made the PB&J a part of his pregame routine. But on that night in Boston, as Doo recalls, Garnett partook, then played … and played well. Afterward, from his perch as the Celtics’ fiery leader, Garnett issued the following commandment: ‘We’re going to need PB&J in here every game now.'”

Boston, of course, went on to win the NBA title that season, so other players naturally assumed PB&Js were part of NBA’s the recipe for success. As members of that ’07-’08 team dispersed, they brought the PB&J tradition with them, and a “sandwich revolution” was born.

Only in the NBA can one man convince an entire league to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But if anyone can have that kind of influence, it’s KG.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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