Nick Collison dropped the socio-culinary bomb on ESPN’s True Hoop Blog. “Is it still Cheesecake Factory, or is there a new champ?” Kevin Arnovitz asked the OKC big man. “Guys like Benihana now,” Collison replied.
O. M. G., you guys. Where is Vince Young going to blow the rest of his signing bonus? (To jog your memory, Young purportedly went bankrupt after spending $5,000 a week there. Stories even surfaced of “LenDale White consuming ‘one-and-a-half bottles of Patrón,’ and the team hanging out at all these establishments with ‘nasty-looking’ girls, who were ‘the skankiest.’”)
Gulp. Pass the deep fried whatever-the-hell-that-is.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell are professional athletes eating at the most unhealthy restaurant on the face of the Earth?! Answer:
ambiance portion size. Like the Bistro Shrimp Pasta, which packs a whopping 3,120 calories, rendering it the most calorically rich food ever. Well, that, and to a lesser extent, the ample seating for large people. But as Bob Dylan once sang about important paradigm shifts in cultural tendencies, the times they are a changin’.
Benihana is now the goût du jour among NBA squads. Why? Answer: proximity to NBA arenas. And, to a lesser extent, the amphitheater style seating, condusive to larger groups.
Wow. Whether it’s “The Factory,” as it’s called, or Asian bistro-tainment, these guys treat every night off like it’s a 10 year old’s birthday party. Sweet!
If you’ve never been, Benihana is a Japanese hibachi restaurant, where chefs cook the food in front of you while doing tricks/making you catch onions rings in your mouth. The allure, at least for normal humans, is that you get dinner and a show. For NBA players, it’s probably just an opportunity to have the attention off them for a second. “Hey man, I’d tell you to look over there at Javale McGee and Nick Young freestyling, but any second this chef might squirt flaming oil near your face.”