NBA players make a wide range of choices for their "main" or bigger pregame meal consumed approximately four hours ahead of tip-off. Chicken and pasta are staples, same for steak and baked potato. But teammates and opponents alike almost all agree on just the right pregame snack to stave off hunger: the humble peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich.
It started in full force with Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics' 2007-08 championship squad. One Celtic reserve player, lost in the history, complained to the Boston trainer about being hungry, "Man, I could go for PB and J right now." Garnett, in earshot, said, "Yeah, let’s get on that." Garnett, getting the star treatment, was served a PB&J in short order (the reserve got one, too). After that early season pregame snack, Garnett was hooked. He asked the Celtics training staff to make two PB&Js (strawberry jam) for him before every game. Paul Pierce, his teammate and another star during the title run, craved the sandwich as well, refining his pregame snack so that he consumed it exactly 55 minutes before opening tip.
In the following seasons, the Celtics champions parted ways. Garnett and Pierce were traded to Brooklyn. Tony Allen moved on to Memphis. All of them introduced their pregame habit to new teammates ("hmm, tastes good and Boston won a title, let’s do it!"). Same for ex-Celtic Glenn "Big Baby" Davis in his move to Orlando, and even Boston boss Doc Rivers stumped for PB&Js on the pregame training menu when he signed a big contract to coach the Los Angeles Clippers.
What’s more, if you are wondering, yes, the Golden State Warriors stock the sandwich for pregame consumption.