ALL BALL NERVE CENTER – In a recent interview on ESPN.com’s True Hoop blog, Oklahoma City Thunder main man Nick Collison made a stunning admission: NBA players have turned their culinary attention from Cheesecake Factory to Benihana. Now, we can debate whether or not NBA players should ever have cared about Cheesecake Factory to begin with, but I understood the logic behind their patronage: NBA players are constantly looking to keep weight on and load carbs, so why not eat at a restaurant that has enormous portion sizes?
But Benihana? Benihana can really be an ordeal. I can’t imagine a group of players sharing a table with a kid having a birthday party. Then again, come to think of it, there’s a lot to like about Benihana, from the signature sauces served with each meal, to the green tea at the end of each experience.
All of this brings us to JaVale McGee, the spiritual representative of the All Ball Blog and an all-around good guy. When I saw that there was a short video of McGee and some of the Nuggets eating at Benihana, I was hopeful this video would feature JaVale ordering one of those stacks of onions that the chefs turn into a volcano, or maybe one of the Nuggets players making fried rice for the table, but instead it’s a pretty low-key time. I do love that within days of Collison making his pronouncement, we immediately get actual footage of NBA players in a Benihana, led by JaVale. And from the looks of it, this video is why they hit up Benihana in the first place: Chill bros around a huge table-top grill, munching on a little surf and turf.