October 21, 2010
It's not easy working in the NBA. Though we'd all like to get paid huge gobs of money for playing a game we often run for free a couple of times a week, there aren't many of us that would put up with the calorie-draining amount of practices and run-throughs and shootarounds needed just to keep a job at the NBA level.
Most of us are faced with the burden of eating healthy -- hell, eating non-terribly -- due to the vicissitudes of our respective jobs. All I have to do is just write all day and then watch the games at night, and yet I'm often drinking iced tea for breakfast and glomming down the 4 p.m. "lunch" of a turkey and avocado mess, and I don't even have to leave home to go to work.
NBA players? Especially the ones that are tossed into an expensive condo all their own at the same point in their lives when we first realized we could actually add frozen vegetables to all that Ramen? They're often left wanting, on several nutritional and culinary levels, as a result.
The result? I present to you the Memphis Grizzlies' Xavier Henry's(notes) dried-out, fork-driven scrambled eggs, doused with salt and served on a plate to his extremely patient mother:
I was lucky, growing up. Though we never had the money to dine out extensively, or bring home expensive product to cook with, my father was a trained gourmet chef who studied under the famous Jacques Pepin. And my father was, is, bloody brilliant. To this day, and I go in with the most cynical of palates, the guy just knocks me on my rear with whatever he plates, every time. Every damn time.
Every time, it gets better. We should all be so lucky to be evolving, growing, and creating as he is decades after cornering the market on what tends to amaze and intrigue. It's something to look up to. Oh, and, yeah. Happy birthday, Dad. Kind of realized that a few lines ago. This wasn't meant as this sort of post, but then midnight hit, and look what happened.
And because Pepin's the man, Xavier, and because you were needlessly denied a contract for the whole of the summer when every other rookie got to suss out their living arrangements, consider this a how-to (remember, season prior to cooking), my friend:
Eggs, salt, pepper, butter (Pour la version Française? Chives, as well). Pan, fork. For those of us that can't eat butter because we're woefully out of basketball shape? Please toss on an extra pad on our behalf.
Beyond that? Looking forward to your rookie year, Xavier. Enjoy every sandwich.