ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — On Saturday night in a game against the Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder rookie big man Steven Adams sprained his ankle. Now, a sprained ankle has kept many NBA players out of many games, but less than 24 hours later, Adams was ready to go for the Thunder against the Celtics. And as Thunder coach Scott Brooks said before the Celtics game, Adams has a unique brand of toughness.
Scott Brooks on Steven Adams' toughness: "Nothing phases him. All he cares about is eating a lot of food and playing basketball."—
Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 05, 2014
We knew basketball was important to Adams — he’s a professional basketball player, after all — but the food stuff is worth exploring. Perhaps we should’ve known Adams had a predilection for preparing food when we spoke to him back at the Rookie Transition Program, and I asked all the rookies what they would make if they were on Iron Chef. While I got a lot of ramen and cereal answers, Adams came with Beef Wellington and creme brulee.
VIDEO: NBA Rookie: What’s Cooking?
After being drafted, Adams said he went out and bought a huge steak to celebrate …
VIDEO: Steven Adams Dinner
And digging deeper, we learned from a long feature this summer in The Oklahoman that for Adams, really just any food is important …
Food is one of his biggest fetishes.
“He loves food,” said Liggins. “He goes crazy about food. Any food. He wants food.”
Less than three minutes after Liggins revealed that information, Adams walked around the corner with a plate piled high with food. He was the only Thunder player to emerge from the locker room with a plate.
“Food is amazing,” Adams said. “I love food. It’s good. It’s from my family, I guess. My family is quite big and we all eat a ton so I think that’s where it came from.”
In the days leading up to the draft, Adams devoured a 48-oz steak. He had his first hot dog last Saturday in Orlando. He didn’t see the big deal.
During the draft combine, former Louisville center Gorgui Dieng, now with Minnesota, suggested Adams get a shirt that reads “Eating Never Stops,” a play off of Nike’s slogan “Basketball Never Stops.”
“I’m just a New Zealand guy,” Adams said.