Legends Blog

Food of The Pro June 19 2019, 0 Comments

Food of the Pro

This week we dive into what a pro athletes eat. While it depends on the type of athlete, most have pretty unique diets compared to the average joe. Find out how your favorite athletes from the past and present ate. We explore daily diets, pre-game meals, beverages and weird eating superstitions.


Daily Diets

Babe Ruth Hot Dog Diet
Babe Ruth
Breakfast - Porterhouse Steak, Potatoes, Quart of Bourbon and Ginger Ale, 18 Egg Omlet
Snack #1 - 2 Hot Dogs, 2 Coca-Cola
Lunch - 2 Raw Steak, 2 Orders Potatoes, 1 Lettuce Head with Roquefort Dressing
Snack #2 - 2 Hot Dogs, 2 Coca-Cola
Dinner - 2 Porterhouse Steaks raw, 2 Lettuce Heads with roquefort dressing, 2 Cottage Fried Potatoes, 2 order of Apple Pie
After Dinner Snack - Chocolate Ice Cream, Picked Eels
Ruth was the most legendary eater in sports history, bar none. He preferred to take his steaks down raw, covered in a whole bottle of chili sauce. The Bambino had a breakfast fit for a dinosaur, reputedly starting his day with 18-egg omelets. As for his drink of choice in the morning, it wasn’t coffee. No, he liked to start his day with four cups of bourbon and ginger ale. Rumor has it, that during his playing days he sunk beers and guzzled hot dogs at a rate that would have put most people in hospital. Another tale mentions a time Ruth ate 12 hot dogs and drank 8 bottles of soda in between a doubleheader. The Yankee would routinely put on eating shows, amazing crowds of fans gathered around. Ruth was someone who basically ate to a crowd. He grossly over ate when strangers or new friends were with him. He loved his reputation as a greedy feaster, he loved to put on a show to any spectators. Sometimes it was a comedy act, like the time he asked a waiter to decorate his steak with a border of lamb chops. On average it was said Ruth ate around 6,000 calories per day. One of his favorite snacks was pickled eels and chocolate ice cream. Legendary sportswriter H.G. Salsinger who once covered Ruth noted, “He could eat more, drink more, smoke more, swear more, and enjoy himself more than any contemporary.”

Shaquille O’Neal
Breakfast - Fresh Orange Juice, Egg-White Omelet
Snack #1 - Turkey Sandwich, wheat bread, cheese, Lettuce, Tomato
Lunch - 2 Turkey Sandwiches with wheat Bread, Lettuce, tomato
Dinner - Either salmon, Chicken, or Steak, side of Potatoes or Rice, Vegetables
The hall of fame big man prefers fresh squeezed orange juiced directly from his backyard in Florida. He likes to par it with an egg-white omelette. The current TNT personality is a bit of a sandwich freak. He admits “ My definition of bad eating is "too many sandwiches." I'm a sandwich guy: turkey sandwiches, turkey burgers. My turkey sandwich is just low-fat mayo from Whole Foods, and then thin wheat bread, a couple slices of turkey, a couple slices of cheese, lettuce and tomato, and that's it.” In his playing career, O’Neal wanted to pack on pounds prior to the 1998 season. His approach was simple, instructing his chef to overload his meals with meat and potatoes. He also admitted to his affinity for more comfort food when he was younger. ”When I was playing, I was a burger and bread eater, and you can't really do that every day if you're not getting exercise," Shaq told Men's Health in 2012. O’Neal admits his favorite dish is still his mom’s mac and cheese.

 

JJ Watt Diet

JJ Watt
Breakfast - 900 Calories of Oatmeal, 6 Eggs
Breakfast 2 - 5 Eggs
Lunch - 3 6-9 oz grilled chicken breasts, 4 cups of rice, 4 cups of vegetables
Dinner - 3 6-9 oz grilled chicken breasts, 4 cups of rice, 4 cups of vegetables
Total Intake - 24 eggs, 50 slices of bacon, 20 chicken breasts, 13 Avocados, Several Sweet Potatoes
Watts has one of the largest diets known to man. He starts with 900 calories of oatmeal, pallet of bacon, and an omelet of 9,00 calories. According to Watt, in order to reach the amount of calories he needs to maintain his bulk, he's begun "smashing avocados" like they were going extinct, to the tune of 13 avocados. Over the course of a single day, Watts goes through 24 eggs, 50 slices of bacon, 20 chicken breasts and enough sweet potato for a small country. He claims to wrap smaller meals in bacon just to get them down. His daily consumption sometimes consist of 50 slices of bacon and 20 chicken breasts. Watt's calorie equivalent in Big Macs, equals out to about 35 Big Macs.

Taylor Lewan
Breakfast - Oatmeal with Blueberries and Strawberries, 6 Eggs, Banana and Apple
Second Breakfast - 4 eggs, 2 slices of Wheat Toast with Peanut butter, Banana, honey, 2 slices wheat toast with jelly
Snack #1 - 3 Chicken Breasts, whole wheat Pasta and Italian dressing, Side of Broccoli
Lunch - Chicken Breasts , Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Carrots
Snack #2 - Can of Tuna, 2 Eggs
Dinner - Chicken or Fish, with a Cup of Rice and Two Cups of Veggies
The offensive lineman is obsessive with carbs and lean protein. He's a big advocate of the basics, chicken or fish, rice and veggies. Over the course of the day the Tennessee Titan would put down between 157 to 315 grams of protein a day. He insisted on the intake of carbs as energy to push him through long workouts.

 

Michael Jordan Breakfast
Michael Jordan
Breakfast - Large bowl of Oatmeal with Strawberries, Blueberries and Raisins; Scrambled Egg Whites, glass of Orange Juice
Snack #1 - Shake made from a combination of Gatorade, Protein Powders, and Fruits
Lunch - Chicken, Whole-grain Pasta and Small Green Salad
Snack #2 - Shake made from a combination of Gatorade, Protein Powders, and Fruits
Game Meal (Game Day) - Chicken Breast or Lean Steak, Pasta or Potato, Steamed Vegetables
Dinner - Whatever he wants
In an article by the Chicago Tribune, Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, revealed that Jordan had a goal of consuming five to six meals a day. Jordan’s priority was to regulate blood sugar levels and to boost metabolism while watching weight gain. The basketball player’s diet consisted primarily of carbs: 70 percent carbs, 20 percent fats, and 10 percent proteins. Grover said. "We have developed a routine with the shakes that allows Michael to get his nutrients before or after practice or even on the golf course. You don't necessarily have to eat five meals as much as replenish your body five times a day.” Jordan drinks plenty of fluids (mostly Gatorade or water) to avoid dehydration.

Karl Anthony-Towns
Breakfast - 5 Pancakes, 3 Cups of Fruit
Breakfast 2 - 5 Pancakes, 1.5 Cups of Fruit
Lunch - 3 6-9 oz grilled chicken breasts, 4 cups of rice, 4 cups of vegetables
Dinner - 3 6-9 oz grilled chicken breasts, 4 cups of rice, 4 cups of vegetables
Karl Anthony-Towns is something of a pancake king consuming 10 daily. He has 2 different breakfasts, one before a workout or practice and one after. He keeps lunch and dinner basic, both of which contain chicken, rice and veggies.

Tom Brady Diet
Tom Brady

Breakfast - Vegetables, Brown Rice,
Lunch -
Chicken, Vegetables, Quinoa,
Snack -
Millet, Vegetables
Dinner -
Salmon, Vegetables, Quinoa, Beans
Desert -
Avocado based Ice Cream

He avoids white sugar, white flour, MSG, iodized salt, coffee, caffeine, alcohol, fungus, dairy, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, eggplants, and even several types of fruit. Allen Campbell, Brady's personal chef, revealed details of his Brady's diet in a recent interview with boston.com. "Eighty percent of what he eats is vegetables.” "I buy the freshest vegetables.” "If it's not organic, I don't use it.” "And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans.” "The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken.” "As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon," Campbell said. Overall, about 80% of his diet consists of vegetables and whole grains, while the rest 20% consists of lean meats. When Brady does indulge in sweets he reaches for ice cream made from avocados. Brady's diet, has become a fascination in the sports world. But the future NFL hall-of-famer does have a method to his madness, he doesn't eat nightshades like tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms for fears of inflammation. Brady also doesn't drink coffee. He doesn't eat strawberries, doesn't eat many bananas, and avoids dairy.

Michael Phelps Diet
Michael Phelps Diet
Breakfast - 3 Fried Egg Sandwiches, 5 Chocolate Chip Pancakes, 3 Slices French Toast, 5 Egg Omlet, Porridge, Grits
Lunch - 400 Grams of Pasts, 2 Ham Sandwiches, 1,000 Calories of Energy Drinks
Dinner - 1 Pepperoni Pizza, 400 Grams of Pasts, 1,000 Calories of Energy Drinks
While training for the 2008 Olympics, Phelps consumed 12,000 calories per day. His eating regiment was one of the most publicized by the mainstream media. People had a hard time believing the amount of food the rail thin Phelps consumed. A sample just breakfast looked something like this: three fried egg sandwiches topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions, and mayo; two cups of coffee; a five-egg omelet; a bowl of grits; three slices of French toast with powdered sugar; and three chocolate chip pancakes. Phelps diet helped highlight the amount of calories some athletes at the Olympics had to intake just to maintain a decent level of energy.

Matt Kalil
Breakfast - Bacon, Eggs, Fruit, Cottage Cheese, Toast, Sausage
Lunch - Pizza, Burgers, Sloppy Joes
Snack - Protein Shake
Dinner - 12 Oz Steak, Mash Potatoes, Fruits, Vegetables, 2 Sushi Rolls, 4 Sausages, 1.5 PB & J Sandwiches, Garlic Bread, Orange Juice, 1,200 calorie weight gainer shake
The Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle maintains his 315-pound frame by indulging in loads of junk foods. On average Khalil puts down about 7,000 calories per day. Back in 2012, his meal plan included a breakfast consisting of bacon, eggs, fruit, cottage cheese, toast, and sausage. Sounds harmless enough, but come lunchtime Kalil would indulge in pizza, burgers, and sloppy Joe's. In more recent years, his 7,000-calorie NFL diet includes high-calorie protein shakes, pasta, and plenty of snacks.

Alex Gordon
Breakfast - Grilled chicken and steamed vegetables
Lunch - Grilled chicken and steamed vegetables
Dinner - Grilled chicken and steamed vegetables
Alex Gordon is by far the most boring eater we have ever encountered. Few pro athletes are as overly obsessed with preparation as the Royals outfielder. He avoids fried foods. He never eats candy. He hasn't had ice cream or a cheeseburger since 2012. "To totally avoid those types of foods for years is a whole other level of discipline that a lot of people in the general population can't fathom, nor do people in professional athletics often have that type of discipline," Royals strength and conditioning coach Ryan Stoneberg told MLB.com. Grilled chicken and steamed vegetables are the two big staples of Gordon's strict diet, and he always drinks tons of water. "I don't know if I eat to really enjoy food," Gordon once told the Kansas City Star. "I think I eat just to be successful on field.” Alex Gordon doesn’t understand the need for a diverse diet instead he just pounds grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. Still you have to admire his preparation for the sport he loves.

Lebron James Diet
LeBron James
Breakfast - Egg-white omelet, Fruit
Snack - Protein Shake
Lunch - Salmon, Vegetables, Fruit, Quinoa
Dinner - 2 Chicken Breast, Vegetables, Potatoes, Red Wine,
Desert - Kale Based Cake
During the Summer of 2014, James used a no-sugar, no-dairy, no-carb diet. He ate nothing but meat, fish, veggies and fruit for 67 straight days, and it helped him achieve a slimmer frame. Though James is eating carbs again, his diet remains very healthy. The majority of his meals consist of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits and veggies. When he does let himself indulge, one of his favorites is a cake recipe that includes a helping of kale. LeBron also indulges in a bit of red wine almost every night. "I've heard it's good for the heart.” "Listen, I'm playing the best basketball of my life, and I'm drinking wine pretty much every day.” "Whatever it is, I'll take it," James told ESPN.

Spencer Myers - University of Maryland
Breakfast - Bacon, Eggs, Potatoes
Snack #1 - 4 PB & J Sandwiches, 3 Protein bars, 10 Ounces of Goldfish Crackers
Lunch - Unknown
Dinner - Unknown
Though an interview with University of Maryland student-athlete Spencer Myers last fall, it was revealed calorie consumption in the five figures isn’t unthinkable. As a wrestler and defensive end for the Terp's football team, it takes over 10,000 calories a day to fuel Myers. After a morning breakfast of bacon, eggs and potatoes, Myers consumes “four peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, three protein bars and a 10-ounce bag of Goldfish crackers” as a midmorning snack.

Hershell Walker
Only Meal - Soup or Salad with Bread
This former NFL player and MMA fighter is a versatile and powerful athlete. So, it may come as a surprise that Walker is a vegetarian and has been for 20 years. If that isn’t surprising, maybe this next part is: Walker only eats one meal a day, skipping both breakfast and lunch.

Michael Arnstein
Daily Diet - 30 Bananas, Grilled Chicken, Steamed Vegetables
The professional long-distance runner, needs high stores of energy. Sometimes he runs 200 miles in a week. While that mean tons and tons of rice and pasta for most runners, Arnstein professes that fruit is the key. Having nicknamed himself “The Fruitarian,” Arnstein sticks to a diet made of 80 percent carbs, 10 percent fats, and 10 percent protein. The source of all of your his macronutrients is Fruit. Milk and cheese are considered poison to him and eating 30 bananas per day is normal.


The Beverages

Peyton Manning Gatorade
Peyton Manning
Drinking Routine: 3 Liters of Gatorade per day
Manning had a deep obsession of constantly drinking Gatorade during his playing days. He maintained he drank Gatorade in order to restore his energy. He insisted on his personal stash including hidden Gatorade bottles at home and the stadium.

Caron Butler
Drinking Routine: 2 Liter Mountain Dew
Butler was well known for drinking a 2 liter of Mountain Dew per day. Since retiring from the NBA, he has gotten a handle on reducing his intake. Butler admits “I can get away from the streets, I can get away from all of these different things,” Butler said. “I can’t get away from Mountain Dew.”

John Daily Diet Coke
John Daily Diet Coke
Drinking Routine: 26 Diet Cokes
The bad boy of golf always afforded himself indulgence. He followed no meal plans and claims that at one period he was addicted to Diet Coke. He drank about 26 cans of Diet Coke in a day. Now he prefers to consume chicken wings and large amounts of chocolate milk.

Wilt Chamberlain
Drinking Routine: 7up & Orange Juice
This was a big source of carbohydrates for Chamberlain. He really believed in the power of orange juice. He claimed his magic elixir helped to keep him energized and helped replenish his carbohydrates. He would reportedly drink 3 to 4 a day.

Darell Armstrong
Drinking Routine: 6 Cups of Coffee before games
The now retired ex Orlando Magic point guard used to go full energizer bunny in the locker room, routinely drinking 6 cups of coffee or more before he played.

Wade Boggs Beer
Wade Boggs
Drinking Routine: 12 Pack Miller Light
One of the greatest hitters of all time was well known for his beer intake. Boggs loved to put them away when the team was flying or hanging out in his hotel room or even having a few in the locker room. Boggs ran off his beer of choice, Miller Light. He admitted to putting down at least a 12 pack per day to Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia actor and writer Charlie Day.

David Carter
Drinking Routine: 100 Grams of Protein Worth of Bean Smoothies (10 Smoothies)
Carter is a 300 plus pound lineman in the NFL. Daily, he consumes 10,000 calories per day consisting of greens, rice, nuts, beans and quinoa. The most absurd part of his diet is the massive batch of bean smoothies he drinks throughout the day, 100 grams worth of protein.

Dwayne Wade
Drinking Routine: 1 Chlorophyll Smoothie
Wade drinks a smoothie more fit for a super villain. A nutritionist suggested that he add amounts of chlorophyll to his diet, in order to properly refuel and reset his body after games. Wade now unwinds post game with your classic chlorophyll smoothie. He developed this plan after he hit his 30-year-old slump.

Lyoto Machida
Drinking Routine: His own urine
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida told Brazilian magazine Tatame "I drink my urine every morning like a natural medicine.” Machida started drinking his own urine at the advice of his father, who told MMA Fighting "it's like a vaccine" and "sometimes it's sweet, sometimes it's salty."

Ron Artest Hennessy
Ron Artest “Metta World Peace”
Drinking Routine: 5th of Hennessy
Several athletes have had problems with alcoholic beverages but few had been as candid as Ron Artest. He admitted to drinking Hennessy at the halftime of some Chicago Bulls games, as a rookie and 2nd year player. He also admitted to overcoming obstacles off the court during the same period.

LenDale White
Drinking Routine: 7.5 Shots of Patron per Day
The ex-Tennessee Titan running back loved tequila too much. He admitted his obsession led to high weight gain and his decline in production. When he decided to quit drinking, he shed 30-pounds over 6 months.

Rituals, Fads and Pre-Game Meals

Steph Curry Popcorn

Steph Curry
Pre Game Meal:
Popcorn
One close kept secret of Steph Curry is his pre game snack routine. Curry Admitted he “Gets off the bus, walk into the locker room, put my stuff down, go straight to the popcorn table,”. The Golden State Warrior star is a self-professed “popcorn addict” and considers it an essential part of his game-night experience. “If it’s really good, I’m eating it before the game, at halftime and after,” Curry said. Curry’s love of popcorn can be tied to his father Dell Curry, Del is another popcorn devotee and suspects that his eldest son inherited the addiction. Curry said, he never adds anything to the popcorn to change its appearance, taste or temperature. He also said he “can visualize where the popcorn is” in any NBA arena. “And then the experience comes right back,” Curry said. “It’s sick, bro. It’s a problem.” He proudly told the story of Miami Heat ball boys, assuring him that he would be “impressed by their efforts on the popcorn front”. Later that evening a table with popcorn bags lined up on wood planks under heat lamps was waiting for Curry.


Sam Bradford
Pre Game Meal: Anything in 3’s
During a January 2011 interview with the local ESPN radio affiliate, Bradford talked about his pre game routines that date back to college. The weirdest superstition is his compulsion to only eat things in 3’s, including after-dinner mints and pieces of fruit on game day.

Laffit Lincay Jr
Pre Game Meal: Half a Peanut
Jockey’s are known to have crazy pre race rituals but Lincay is the king. He was so serious about his craft, he would eat just half of a peanut for a meal. Keeping your meal or snack to half a peanut takes serious dedication. Pincay is the second-winningest jockey all time and he was the one riding Sham back in the 70s, who was the only rival of the legendary, Triple Crown-winning Secretariat. They came close during the Preakness and Kentucky Derby, but eventually fell short to Secretariat.

Wayne Gretzky Diet

Wayne Gretzky
Pre Game Meal: 4 Hot Dogs w/ mustard & onions, Popcorn, Pizza, 1 Diet Coke
The Great One would eat 4 hot dogs which contained mustard and onions, he washed that down with Diet Coke. Occasionally he would include popcorn and pizza. Wayne Gretzky never changed his pre-game diet throughout his career.

Bryce Harper
Pre Game Meal: 4 Eggo Waffles w/ Peanut Butter and Honey
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in January 2013, The Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper revealed a pre-game obsession with Eggo waffles. Harper admitted “It has to be Eggo before the game. I mean, it’s really weird. PB and honey, I mean, I’m really superstitious.” Harper also admits to taking as many as 7 showers on game day, another strange superstition.

Wade Boggs Chicken Tips
Wade Boggs
Pre Game Meal: Chicken
While playing in the minor leagues, Wade Boggs found that his best games came after he ate a meal with chicken. "I noticed that I always seemed to hit best after chicken," Boggs told legendary baseball writer Peter Gammons. "So I started having Debbie (his wife) fix it every day.” That is how Boggs became known as the “chicken man”. Check out some of his tips on fixing chicken here.

Metta World Peace
Pre Game Meal: Beans
In 2013, NBA enigma Metta World Peace admitted in a New York Post interview was entertaining and revealing.When asked what his favorite meal was, he responded with: “Beans.” Most people wouldn’t think that beans alone constitute a meal, however Metta World Peace isn’t most people.

NBA PB & J Sandwhich
Most NBA Players
Pre Game Meal: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the go-to snack for several NBA players. NBA players who obsessively gobbled down PB & J during their careers include Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, Paul Pierce, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Brandon Ingram and many more. If you check out the post game spreads for many NBA teams, PB & J sandwiches are included. The Lakers have theirs catered by Whole Foods, the San Antonio Spurs have theirs catered by HEB Central Market which they have a partnership with in San Antonio. You go up to Portland: Half of their peanut butter and jelly sandwich order is toasted because the star player Damian Lillard likes them that way. Within the league, a number of players are known for their preferences. "Russell Westbrook likes to butter the inside of the bread and then put peanut butter on it after it's toasted," Holmes relays. Carmelo Anthony likes his on a cinnamon raisin bagel. Kevin Durant admitted "Actually, PB&J is still my go-to snack.” As a team the Golden State Warriors may be the king of the PB & J. They even fired their nutritionist for trying to ban the team favorite.

Tyson Gay
Pre Game Meal: 20 Almonds
The Olympic sprinter has a very precise diet plan. Before any race or training session, he eats only 20 almonds. It may seem a little extreme, but 20 almonds are apparently the perfect amount to meet his physical needs as per his nutritionist.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Pre Game Meal: Raw Egg Protein Shake
As seen in the movie Rocky, raw eggs were thought to give extra protein to training boxers. The old school practice turned out to be more myth than fact, but that didn’t stop people from the tradition. Mr. Universe himself advocated for a thermos of raw eggs and heavy cream to aid in weight gain.

Lamar Odom Candy Trophy
Lamar Odom
Pre Game Meal: 3-4 Cookies n Cream Hershey’s, Lifesavers, Peach Rings, Twizzlers, Skittles
Odom’s once ate an entire plate of Starburst jelly beans right before a game. He also enjoys Lifesavers, Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme bars, Twizzlers, and “peachy sugarcoated rings.” Wrigley made a replica of the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy entirely out of candy in 2009 to honor the Lakers’ victory and Odom’s name was featured on the base. "Hershey's white chocolate cookies and cream, I go through like four or five packs of those a day.” "I will sometimes wake up at like 3 or 4 in the morning and I'll just have candy around my bed, maybe some Starbursts or Skittles, and I'll just reach over, eat it, and go back to sleep.” Odom's assistant makes weekly runs to the grocery store to satisfy his clients candy needs, he usually spends around $80 on candy each time he goes.

Larry Bird
Snack Choice: Wedding Cakes & Ice Cream
The NBA’s original sweet tooth may have been Larry Joe Bird, he once claimed to down ‘ten gallons of ice cream and seven wedding’ cakes’ while recovering from injury. He had put on a few pounds when he was out of action, but he wasn't sure how many. "I was so bored, I'd set around the house, drive my wife crazy, and eat and eat. In two and a half weeks I was off I ate ten gallons of ice cream and seven wedding' cakes. Why them? I ate wedding' cakes 'cause you knew they was gonna be good. I mean, who would [eff] up a wedding' cake?” Bird choice of Wedding Cakes was pure genius.

The McDonald's Diet 

Charles Barkley McDonalds
Charles Barkley
McDonald's Order: Fillet O’ Fish, French Fry and Diet Coke
Barkley admitted that he routinely ate at McDonald's before playing in games. The round mound of rebound would order a Fillet O’Fish or cheeseburger with french fry and diet coke.

Ryan Lochte
Breakfast: Eggs, Sausage, Biscuits, McMuffins, 3 Hash Browns, Fruit Salad
Lunch: 2 Chicken Nuggets, a Double Cheeseburger, and a Big Mac."
Dinner: 2 Chicken Nuggets, French Fries and 2-3 Double Cheeseburgers
Lochte won 4 medals while eating McDonald's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Lochte reportedly binged McDonald's while competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Usaian Bolt
McDonald's Order: Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, Apple Pie
Bolt thrived on McDonald's Chicken Nuggets at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, earning himself 3 Gold Metals. According to Huffington Post, Bolt consumed nuggets and fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with an apple pie for a snack. When he’s at home he keeps his diet more traditional. He maintains a diet made up of 60% protein, 30% carbs, and 10% fat, and often eats ackee and saltfish with dumplings, cooked banana, or sweet potato for breakfast. Lunch is often made up of pasta with chicken, while dinner tends to be rice with peas and pork.

Marvin Barnes
McDonald's Order: 2 Cheeseburgers, Large Fry, Coke
Barnes relied on McDonald's for most of his pre game meals during his playing career. The former ABA star had a habit of being late to games, often times showing up with a greasy bag of McDonald's.

Chad Johnson McDonalds

Chad Johnson
McDonald's Order: Chicken Nuggets or Big Mac, Large Fry, Coke
Johnson has an epic love affair with McDonald's. He apparently survives on just McDonald's and even tried working there for a day. It’s what keeps him going and he has admitted in the past that he survives on it.

Drop us a comment and let us know if we missed anything.


Best Playground Basketball Courts in America August 14 2018, 1 Comment

Although the playground game isn’t what it used to be, we still love outdoor basketball. Basketball has always helped neighborhoods to channel their energy into sports and away from tough situations. Admission is free, and each night there is potential to watch professional, college and high school players hone their skills. We give you the best playground basketball courts in America.

Rucker Park
Rucker Park - Harlem, New York
Veterans: Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “The Doctor” Erving, Connie Hawkins, Joe “Destroyer” Hammond, Tiny Archibald, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Peewee Kirkland, “Jumping” Jackie Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant
The most famous and important basketball court of all time. Rucker Park has long been considered hallowed ground and for good reason. Everyone’s who’s anyone, grew up dreaming of showing their skills at Rucker. The long list of NBA pros that played here, grows each year. The court is located in Harlem, it has added features like lights and additional seating throughout the years. Several great tournaments have been played at the Rucker. From the original Rucker-Pro tournament to the Entertainers Basketball Classic, the park has stayed relevant for more than 50 years. It has also played host to celebrity fans like Bill Clinton, Denzel Washington, Barrack Obama, Spike Lee and many more have all attended games at Rucker.

The Cage
The Cage - Manhattan, New York
Veterans: Rod Strickland, Lloyd Daniels, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Eric Barkley, Smush Parker. Filipe Lopez, Booger Smith, Kenny Anderson, Anthony Mason
Maybe the most unique court on the list. The Cage attracts people from all walks of life, from New York natives to out of town travelers. Close confines of the fence and the court gives it a grimy feel. Fans and onlookers line the fences directory surrounding the court, giving them the feeling that they are in on the action. Fouls are rarely called here and some times an incident can take place. Here, Rod Strickland perfected his handle, Ron Artest developed his no-nonsense defensive approach and Lamar Odom learned his versatile skills. Even today, the best talent in New York can be found at The Cage.

Dyckman Basketball Courts
Dyckman - Manhattan, New York
Veterans: Ron Artest, Kyrie Irving, Keydrin Clark, Kemba Walker, Isaiah Washington, Tyreke Evans,Corey Fisher, Francisco Garcia, Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Trey Burke, Dwight Hardy, Jeremy Hazell, Felipe Lopez, Kareem Reid, JR Smith, Corey Williams
Home to the Dyckman league and other high profile tournaments throughout the last 3 decades. Today, the court is one of the most famous in the world and has gained traction in the last few decades. What was a one division, six-team tournament in 1990, is now a tournament with 6 age divisions, containing 77 teams. Its college/pro division is one of the best leagues during summertime, on any given night you are liable to see NBA, NCAA, and overseas professionals on the court. Kemba Walker, Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley and many more have been regulars over the last couple summers. In 2011, Nike formed a team loaded with the top street ball talent in NYC and named them “Team Nike.” They skated through Dyckman staying undeafted throughout the season. When it’s not being used for a tournament, good pick-up runs can still be found at Dyckman.

The Garden Coney Island Basketball
The Garden - Coney Island, New York
Veterans: Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair, Lance Stephenson, Jamell Thomas, Isaiah Whitehead, Norman Marbury, Don Marbury, Eric Marbury, Antonio Pena,
Featured in Spike Lee’s 1997 film He Got Game, this Coney Island hotbed has held legendary games since the 70’s. This is the court where Stephon Marbury became one of the most famous New York high school players of all time. It fostered generations of the Marbury clan into basketball success at higher levels. Located just under the fourth floor of the Marbury’s family apartment in the Surf-Side Gardens Projects in Coney Island section of Brooklyn. Several famed players from Abraham Lincoln high school grew up playing in The Garden. After Marbury, players like Sebastian Telfair, Antonio Pena, Lance Stephenson and Isaiah Whitehead have held it down for Coney Island. The park is still home to the legendary Bro-Day game, which features many of New York’s top players.

 

GOAT Park
The GOAT Park “Happy Warrior” - New York, New York
Veterans: Wilt Chamberlain, Earl Manguigut, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rafter Alston, Ron Artest, Booger Smith
Four separate courts align the playground and the pastel colors form the lines of the court. Rafer Alston is still a regular at GOAT park even though he is far removed from his youth. Named after the most famous legend NYC has ever had, Earl Manigault made his reputation on these courts during the seventies. Chris Ballard of Hoops Nation "The stories about how he would go up against Wilt (Chamberlain) and dunk on him. Of how he could do a double dunk. Of how he could grab a dollar off the top of the backboard and make change before coming down.” The man himself did confirm the legend "'A lot of that is true, I could grab the dollar, but the part about making the change isn't true. The double dunk, I did that." A young schoolboy at local Power Memorial high frequented the park often catching glimpses of Earl Manigault. Eventually Kareem Abdul-Jabbar grew big enough to play against him. Leading Jabbar to admit on his NBA retirement night that “Earl Manigault was the best player I ever played against”. Few courts are connected to one player like this court is connected to “The GOAT”.

Kingdome
Kingdome - Harlem, New York
Veterans: Ron Artest, Pearl Washington, Rafer Alston, Walter Berry, Ed Pinckney, Jamaal Tinsley, Carl Krauser, Tracy McGrady, Elton Brand, Joakim Noah, Tim Thomas, Mo Bamba, Hamidou Diallo
Another great court located in Harlem, Kingdome was once a hot spot in the city. Kingdome was closed for several years after financier Dame Dash couldn’t help run the park. It took several years but eventually the Kingdome did open again. At one time The Kingdome Classic was the most important tournament in the city, behind only EBC. The Classic regularly featured NBA pros like Tracy McGrady, Stephon Marbury, Elton Brand, Lamar Odom and a bevy of other stars. Since its reopening, it has been working its way back into the elite circles of NYC summer basketball. Recently a bevy of high school stars like Hamidou Diallo, Mo Bamba and Isaiah Washington have brought tradition back to Harlem.

Sole in The Hole
Sole in The Hole - Brownsville, New York
Veterans: Connie Hawkins, Swee' Pea Lloyd Daniels, Booger Smith
Located on the border between Brooklyn and Queens, “The Hole” has always been considered a lost neighborhood. Still there is beauty in that struggle, Sole in The Hole is a unique playground that pays homage to the ballplayers that have came before. Lloyd “Swee’ Pea” Daniels learned the game here while growing up, mastering his all around game that translated to a short NBA career. Rumor has it Connie Hawkins used to snatch quarters off the top of the backboards, in order to win bets.

Peters Park
Peters Park - Boston, Massachusetts
Veterans: Dana Barros, Patrick Ewing, Wayne Selden
Boston’s top playground court has the best runs in the city. A great “Soul Revival” mural is displayed on the walls running parallel to the courts. Legend has it Dana Barros was a regular at the park, routinely going for 50 in games. Patrick Ewing also spent some time here while learning the game, after moving to America. It contains two full-sized basketball courts that include bleachers for fans.

Barry Farms
Barry Farms Housing Community - Washington DC
Veterans: Kevin Durant, Curt “Trouble” Smith, Gilbert Arenas, Juan Dixon, Ty Lawson, Aquille “Crime Stopper” Carr, Bradley Beal
Home of the Goodman League, Gilbert Arenas got booed off the stage in his first Barry Farms appearance. If you don’t produce here, the crowd will let you know it. Many of the DMV’s elite come through Barry Farms and play in the Goodman league. Kevin Durant and Ty Lawson ran together for years as prep players. The most famed player out here might be Curt “Trouble” Smith who dominated the courts in the 90’s and early 2000’s. “Trouble” was a constant on the Barry Farm playgrounds as he dominated almost everyone he matched up with. The Goodman playground provide residents of the community with great pride and entertainment.

The Dome Baltimore
The Dome - Baltimore, Maryland
Sam Cassell, DeMarr Johnson, Steve Francis, Mugsy Bouges, Reggie Lewis, Carmelo Anthony, Juan Dixon, Steve Blake
The Dome is definitely no slouch when it comes to talent. NBA players such as Carmelo Anthony, Reggie Lewis, Juan Dixon, Sam Cassell and Mugsy Bogues have graced the Dome’s surface. The venue is also home to the legendary “Midnight Madness,” which are games that are played at 10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. and at 12:00 a.m. on Monday and Wednesday nights in the summertime. Under armor has stepped in and given the court a revamped look. The Dome’s indoor look and outdoor feel give players a special feeling when they take the court. Always a hot spot for University of Maryland and Georgetown players.

Cloverdale
Cloverdale - Baltimore, Maryland
Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Sam Cassell, Juan Dixson,
Home to NBA star Carmelo Anthony, Cloverdale is one of the more constant playgrounds on our list. You can still get a quality game, unlike many of the other Baltimore playgrounds. NBA champion Sam Cassell has graced the court as well as Baltimore Bullets of the 1970’s like Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes. Carmelo hosted Melo's Annual H.O.O.D. Movement 3 on 3 Challenge, a three-on-three tournament for local kids, the last couple of years there.

16th and Suquenhanna
16th and Susquehanna - North Philadelphia
Veterans: Rasheed Wallace, Aaron “AO” Owens, Earl Monroe, Aaron McKie, Bryant “Sad Eye” Watson, Doug Overton, Hank Gathers, Wilt Chamberlain, Bo Kimble
Philadelphia once ran one of the most entertaining and talent loaded summer tournaments in the country. It all took place on the basketball court at 16th and Susquehanna. Nightly, hundreds of local fans would descend upon 16th. Today is a far cry from the glory days, the league that once brought future NBA talent has since folded. The action here has dried up over the years but a good game can still be found from time to time. In the early 90’s Simon Gratz's players like Rasheed Wallace, Aaron McKie and Aaron Owens could be seen regularly at Susquehanna. “Sixteenth Street really inspired me, because 16th Street was outside, and it was in the community,” Kenny Thompson says. “As soon as the Sonny Hill League games were over, you could walk around the corner to 16th Street, and the games would be going on. You would see some of the top players in the city. It was a whole different atmosphere. It was like going to a family reunion or family barbecue with basketball as the centerpiece.”

 

Cherashore Park Philadelphia - The Chosen League

Cherashore Park - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Veterans: Kyle Lowry, Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, Tony Carr, Tyreke Evans
Also known as 10th and Only, Cherashore Park has gained a lot of traction the past couple of seasons. Home to the biggest summer league in all of Philadelphia, the court has picked up some serious renovations thanks to sponsors EA Sports, Mitchell and Ness, NIKE, Red Bull, The Villa and The Philadelphia 76ers. Home to The Chosen League, creator Rahim Thompson takes pride in bringing the community together. The league has produced 125 Division I players. Over 40 alumni of the Chosen League have played professionally, including current NBA stars Kyle Lowry, Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson and Markieff and Marcus Morris. The stands are often packed come time for The Chosen League, its not uncommon for 500 fans to show up for a game. The pick-up ball here is legit, so don’t be surprised if you get embarrassed.

Clark Park Philadelphia
Clark Park - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Veterans: Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Jameer Nelson
Known for its grittiness and “no blood, no foul” style of game play, be careful for the natives. This court’s most famous for its match-ups between the older players and younger players. Veterans such as Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant (Kobe’s dad) still play there, defending their court. Still a relevant spot for Philadelphia’s best young ball players to test their game.

LeClaire Courts Chicago
LeClaire Courts - Chicago, Illinois
Veterans: Tim Hardaway, Paul McPherson, Eddy Curry, Brian Leech, Juwan Howard, Billy Harris, Kendall Gill
Although there are outdoor courts at LeClaire, the best ball is played indoor. As the years pass, anyone who's a real ball player has played on the courts at LeClaire. The one time home to the Chicago’s Pro-Am, the indoor courts are still relevant today helping many of Chicago’s youth. The court was home to Brian Leech’s legendary 70 point game, and several other memorable playground stories.

King Cole Park Chicago
King Cole Park - Chicago, Illinois
Veterans: Cassie Russel, Ricky Green, Bo Ellis, Sonny Parker, Quinn Buckner, Nick Anderson, Hersey Hawkins, Lamar Mundane
King Cole Park used to be a jewel of the city, now a day gang violence has taken talent out of the park. Named after Chicago native Nat “King” Cole, the park has been around for more than 40 years. Kings of Chicago like Sonny Parker, Cassie Russel and Quinn Buckner swear this spot was once the best in the city. Chicago native and New York Times sportswriter Ira Berkow wrote that it was one of the "most highly galvanized and competitive outdoor courts in the country.” Recently the shootings became so bad, so routine, that Freddrenna Lyle disabled the basketball courts at the famous Nat King Cole Park by putting locks on the rims. And then ordered that the hoops should come down altogether. A far cry from what used to take place at King Cole.

Fosters Park Chicago
Fosters Beach Court - Chicago, Illinois
Veterans: Tim Hardaway, Billy “The Kid” Harris, Brian Leach, Paul King, Michael Herman
Foster Park used to be the spot, some claim that it still is. With over 500 parks in Chicago, it’s hard for a court to standout. Don’t let the scenery of Lake Michigan fool you, Fosters park is a gritty playground that lays on Chicago's south side. Ronnie Fields and Paul McPherson are two park legends, that used to dominate here.

Jackson Park Chicago
Jackson Park - Chicago, Illinois
Veterans: Barrack Obama, Jimmy Hardaway, Kendall Gill, Antonie Walker
Located right next to Mt. Carmel High School, this was Barrack Obama’s home court. Jackson offers two basketball courts next to each other and they are some of the best-kept basketball courts in the city. Known as “The Cages”, this park also has a view of Lake Michigan. Beyond “The Cage” the park also had another set of courts across the street. Antoine Walker and Donovan McNabb were regulars here while attending Mt. Carmel High School. Recently Jackson Park has been home to the World Basketball Festival.

Sunset Park Ohio
Sunset Park - Middleton, Ohio
Veterans: Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas
Although the park isn’t what it once was, it may have been the greatest playground park in America during the 1950s. Famed players such as Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas would make the trip to Sunset Park to play among the best in the summertime. College and pro players from neighboring states like Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky would all come out to play. While Middleton isn’t the basketball factory it once was, the court still stands today.

St. Cecilia Courts Detroit
St Cecilia - Detroit, Michigan
Veterans: George Gervin, Dave Bing, Jimmy Walker, Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Voshon Lenard, Ralph Simpson, John Long, Doug Smith, Sean Higgins, Terry Mills, Howard Eisley, Antoine Joubert, Glen Rice, Morris Peterson, Jason Richardson, Steve Smith, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Derrick Coleman
Detroit has some of the harshest winters of any American city, so it makes sense the best basketball is played indoors. Everyone who’s anyone that can play ball in Detroit, has played at St. Cecilia’s. George Gervin may have started the tradition of making the gym a go-to spot for pros in the area. NBA-TV’s Steve Smith adds “There are always other leagues, but St. Cecilia’s is still where you measure yourself”. Dott Wilson longtime coach at Detroit Central HS, has oversaw the basketball at St. Cecilia for a long time. Recently ESPN personality Jalen Rose has stepped up and help fund St. Cecilia. Thus insuring future generations will have the same opportunities of those before them.

Tandy Rec. Center
Tandy Rec. Center - St. Louis, Missouri
Veterans: Jo-Jo White, Larry Hughes, Bradley Beal, Loren Woods, David Lee
Although its an indoor venue, Tandy is the top pickup court in the city. All the real legends of St. Louis have found their way to Tandy. Jo-Jo White helped make the spot well known while growing up in the 1960’s. This spot was once the court for University of St. Louis players during the summertime. Larry Hughes was the spots biggest legend, routinely showing up during the 90’s. If the weather is nice you can always get a few games in outside.

Rupert Bell Rec.
Rupert Bell Rec. - East Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Veterans: Chris Paul, Julius Hodge, Josh Howard
Home of a unique court similar to Baltimore’s “The Dome”. Rupert Bell Rec gives the players some shade while they run in the fierce summer heat. North Carolina has always had serious love for basketball and this playground court could be their crowing jewel. Recently Chris Paul, has helped to refurbish the basketball courts at the Rupert Bell. Chris and his brother would come down to the popular domed court when they were finished working their shifts at grandfather's gas station. When Chris made it to the NBA he refurbished the court in 2005 in honor of his late grandfather. Chris Paul’s dad commented "There were events here all the time," Paul said. "Guys had cookouts, things like that. My family would come up here. We (Paul and his brother, C.J.) played when we weren't in the backyard.”

Run N' Shoot Atlanta
Run N' Shoot - Atlanta, Georgia
Veterans: Dion Glover, Robert “50” Martin, DeMarr Johnson, Josh Smith
Run N’ Shoot was one of the crowning jewels in Atlanta from 1999 to 2002. The indoor physicality hosted the top basketball tournament in Atlanta, daily. During its peak several NBA pros, including Hawks players and Atlanta natives made the spot hot during the Summer months. Players from the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech would routinely show up to get a run in. Several street ball legends like Hot Sauce, Robert “50” Martin an Robert "Hot Sauce" Champion were mainstays at Run N’ Shoot. When they locked there doors for the final time, as mounting debts forced the gym to cease operations. Entrepreneur and coach Mike Williams, commented "Run N' Shoot had a tremendous impact from its beginning to its closing. You had hundreds and thousands of kids who have passed through the gym from 1999. At present, you're talking about hundreds and thousands of kids with nowhere to go.” Although it’s remained closed for more than a decade, the gym called Run N’ Shoot deserves mention.

Central Park Atlanta
Central Park - Atlanta, Georgia
Veterans: Jordan Hill
A park in the Fourth Ward West neighborhood of the Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta. It was known as Bedford-Pine Park prior to 1999. Plus, it has an indoor rec center with a basketball court and even a weight room. Several Georgia Tech players have been seen balling here in the summer time.

Conrad Playground New Orleans
Conrad Playground - New Orleans, Louisiana
Veterans: Robert Pack, Randy Livingston, Avery Johnson, Jaren Jackson,
A halfway indoor court, the Conrad playground is located in New Orleans’s 5th Ward. The games here as usually physical with top notch competition. Players like Robert Pack and Randy Livingston got their start right here at Conrad. Each summer the park holds an annual 3 on 3 tournament. You can even run under the lights after dark.

MacGregor Park Houston
MacGregor Park - Houston, Texas
Veterans: Clyde Drexler, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dale Thompson, Willie Campbell, Edward “Mad Bomber” Paul, Bennie Anders, Rob Williams
The best playground court in all of Texas, people tend to agree the mecca of Texas is MacGregor. Most people swear MacGregor Park hasn’t changed since they were kids, the swooping arches, the line of red tiles, the white tin roof that makes every sound eco. Before his hall-of-fame NBA career Clyde Drexler honed his skills right here at MacGregor. Besides Drexler, a few members of the University of Houston’s Phi Slamma Jama used to run on this court regularly during summer. Legend has it Moses and Hakeem went at it during the early 1980’s at MacGregor.

Mosswood Basketball Oakland
Mosswood Park - Oakland, California
Veteans: Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, Hook Mitchell, Raymond King, Antonio Davis, Greg Foster, Brian Shaw, Damian Lillard, Drew Gooden
The best outdoor court in Northern California, the runs at Mosswood are serious. With legendary roots connected with almost every NBA alumni that has called Oakland home. Decades ago was the apex of Mosswood’s talent, with players like Gary Payton, Jason Kidd and Hook Mitchell frequenting the court. The court used to host legendary tournaments in the 80’s and 90’s. Hook Mitchell would routinely dunk over cars that were pulled onto the court. The director of Mosswood, George Hill commented “Most of the kids here now, they just want to imitate what they see on TV. It’s nothing like it was in the 70s or 80s when you had the real ballers coming through here,” he says. “Back then, if you lost a game you probably couldn’t even play again until the next day, there were so many people lined up waiting to get next.” Even recently players like Drew Gooden and Damian Lillard have sharped their skills at Mosswood. The Golden State Warriors have helped give the court various make-overs throughout the years.

Bushrod Rec. Oakland
Bushrod Rec Center - Oakland, California
Veterans: Hook Mitchell, JR Rider, Lester Connor, Raymond “Circus” King, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Greg Foster
Recently Bushrod has gotten a renovation, thanks to Steph Curry & Under Armor. When “the town” would get to hot for outdoor ball, most players sought refuge in this indoor basketball heaven. Bushrod community center was a common place for Isiah Rider to battle during his youth.

Angels Gate Park
Angels Gate Park - San Pedro, California
Located in sunny southern California, Angels Gate Park has an amazing Pacific Ocean backdrop. Although it doesn’t have top flight runs, it's still a great venue.

Venice Beach Courts
Venice Beach Courts - Venice Beach, California
Veterans: Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Raymond Lewis, Robin Kennedy, Nick Van-Exel, Eddie Jones, Baron Davis, Austin Croshere.
Get some run by the beach with some of the best scenery around. Legend has it that Larry Bird himself visited the court during the 86 All-Star week, supposedly Bird hustled everyone for their cash and didn’t leave the court all day. A young Kobe Bryant used to frequent Venice Beach, back when he wasn’t getting a lot of run with the Lakers during his first 2 season. Several summer tournament and leagues exists at Venice, the talent level is some of the best in LA. Don’t forget scenes from the infamous 1992 film White Men Can’t Jump were filmed right here.

Rogers Park Basketball Inglewood
Rogers Park - Inglewood, California
Veterans: Paul Peirce, Andre Miller, Pooh Jeter, Jason Hart, Baron Davis, Milt Palacios, Lisa Leslie, James Worthy, Jamal Wilkes, Michael Cooper
Not too far from the showtime Lakers Inglewood Forum home during the 80’s and 90’s, lies Rogers Park. Paul Pierce swears he owes his toughness to Rogers Park. Peirce admits “Rogers Park. That’s kinda where it all started for me.” While the court is isolated out on a solid patch of grass, the game is all contact. The park was notorious as a battleground for both basketball and the streets. Rogers indoor physicality was a hot spot for Lakers and Clippers during the early 90’s. The outdoor court has two stiff metal poles standing 8 feet tall on the sides of mid court. When the weather gets brutal most go inside to battle on the indoor courts.

Wilson Park Compton
Wilson Park - Compton, California
Veterans: Brandon Jennings, DeMar Derozan, Dennis Johnson
You can run under the lights of Wilson, where competition is stiff. Gritty style takes place at Wilson where the park has attracted local players from both Dominguez and Compton High Schools. Legend has it Dennis Johnson was first discovered here by a local junior college coach and given his first chance to play at the college level.

King Drew School LA
King Drew Magnet - Los Angeles, California
Veterans: DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, James Harden, Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Baron Davis, Klay Thompson, Nick Young, Marvin Bagley
Home to the Drew League, LA’s version of the Pro-Am. The Drew is currently the go-to spot for NBA players playing during the summer. NBA players tend to live in Los Angles during the off season and the Drew has taken advantage. The gym has seen several renovations and improvements over the years with help from Nike.

Green Lake Basketball Seattle
Green Lake - Seattle, Washington
Veterans: Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy, Jason Terry
Located in Green Lake park, this is an ideal spot for an outdoor basketball game. Plenty of space and scenery, just be careful of the wind. The Supersonics gave the court a renovation before leaving town in 2008. One of the top producers of talent in the country, several Seattle pros have balled at Green Lake at one time or another.

Toronto Community Center
Harborfront Community Centre - Toronto, Ontario
Veterans: Corey Joseph, Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson
Our only spot in the Great White North, this court has been cited as the most popular in the city. The level of competition here is just as real as any other court in America, among its standouts are Andrew Wiggins, Corey Joseph, Tristan Thompson and other Canadian talents.

Honorable Mention

Gun Hill Playground - Bronx, NY

Cherry Tree Park - Manhattan, NY

Gauchos Gym - Bronx, NY

Fredrick Johnson Playground - New York, NY

Forsyth Playground - New York, NY

4th Ward Park - Linden, NJ

Roberto Clemente Park - Pittsburgh, PA

Garland Park - Pittsburgh, PA

Wilson Park - Chicago, IL

Powell Park - Raleigh, NC

Halle Park - Memphis, TN

Stripe Courts - Memphis, TN

Gresham Park - Atlanta, GA

Ben Hill Rec. - Atlanta, GA

Flamingo Park - South Beach Miami, FL

Tropical Park - Miami, FL

Kezar Pavilion - San Francisco, CA

Hoop Dome - Toronto, CN

Drop us a comment below and let us know if we missed any.


Wilt Chamberlain vs Michael Jordan - The 1997 NBA All-Star Luncheon February 05 2017, 0 Comments

Wilt Chamberlain vs Michael Jordan

      During the 1997 All-Star break in Cleveland, the NBA decided to honor the 50 greatest players of all time. A luncheon was scheduled as part of the event, which featured players from the past and present. At the time of the luncheon Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain had never crossed paths.

       The debate over the greatest basketball player of all time usually produces only a handful of arguments. Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the best player of all time, but Wilt Chamberlain also holds a place in the debate. Their dominance has been contrasted and compared at great lengths. Those critical of Chamberlain point to the fact he was putting up stats in a league full of weak competition. They also scoff at the fact that Wilt was only able to win 2 championships. Critics of Jordan also cite the weak competition for the duration of the 90’s and quitting to play baseball. Chamberlain is largely regarded as a stat monster, averaging 50 points and 25 rebounds during the 62 season. He was also able to showcase his versatile skills in the 1967 season, averaging 24 points 24 rebounds and 8 assists. Jordan won a bevy of scoring titles to go along with defensive player of the year awards. Mike was also seen as the greatest winner in basketball since Bill Russell.

       So how close is the debate between Chamberlain and Jordan? Depends on the age of the person you ask. However the luncheon at the 1997 All Star game shed some light on the debate, at least from Wilt’s perspective.

       The luncheon was held on saturday and many of the old time players attended the event. Among them were Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton and more. In the deep corner of the brunch, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain sat having an intense discussion. The topic of conversation was predictable, who was the greatest? The two traded jabs the entire brunch until it was time to go. Still, the pair continued to argue. Soon Commissioner David Stern tried to intervene, reminding them they were set to leave 15 minutes earlier. Still jabbering, the pair got up from the table to join everyone else in line. Just before they were about to leave, Chamberlain spoke up. The room grew silent in anticipation of Wilt’s words, “Just remember Michael, when I played they changed the rules to make the game harder for me and when you played they changed the rules to make the game easier for you”. It was the only known time the two had crossed paths.