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The NBA's obsession with wine

The most important players in the NBA have a huge passion for oenology

The NBA's obsession with wine The most important players in the NBA have a huge passion for oenology

After 156 consecutive games, LeBron James showed up at the Staples Center to watch the defeat of his Los Angeles Lakers, against the other team of Los Angeles, the CLippers of Danilo Gallinari, seen his injury remedied in the victory against the Golden State Warriors that will keep him still for a while.
We know very well that LeBron leaves nothing to chance, in the United States we talk a lot about his way to get to the palace and then to show himself in public. All the spotlight is on him always and anyway, especially now that the king performs in Hollywood. LeBron had to sit on the bench and cheer for his teammates and since he would not play, he took a walk between the Staples parking lot and the Lakers changing rooms with a glass of red wine in his hand.

Everybody knows the LeBron's passion for wine but it is not a simple passion, LeBron is a true connoisseur. Often in his stories on Instagram he shares the various bottles, often Italian labels, which brighten his days off the court.

"Bron has a supercomputer in his brain when it comes to wines."

These are the words of Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers teammate.

Dwyane Wade instead explains us how much his dear friend Bron is obsessed with good wine.

"If during his pre-match shooting session someone pronounces the word wine, LeBron interrupts everything simply to know why he is talking about it and if he can tell his own, he does it."

James himself told ESPN: "I'm playing the best basketball of my life and I drink excellent wine, what's better?"

But this is not the prerogative of the number 23 of the Lakers, it is the whole NBA to be obsessed with it
Let's start from the story of a trip to better explain everything.

The black shuttle buses go back and forth through difficult returns, bouncing off chilomenters of rugged terrain that fades into the mud. At the end of the trip, you get to a gate with a big M in the middle and the bus passengers can finally get off, they are the Cleveland Cavaliers.
We are in the Napa Valley, and this is Mayacamas, one of the most iconic wineries in California, home of star and stripes wine. Not all Cavs know where they are but one yes, and that one is Mr. LeBron James. After the champagne-based welcome toast, taste the 2015 chardonnay and the 2013 Cabernet, Cedi Osman does not drink and the thing is commented on by LeBron: "Better, there's more for me". Wade and Jr Smith instead drink, appreciate and make comments with the oenologists present, they are all involved. The Cleveland Cavaliers did a team building but instead of going to an escape room like the Golden State Warriors, they went to visit one of the most important wineries in the United States and they got a lot of glasses.

Dwyane Wade's wife, Gabrielle Union, said in an interview: 

"If at the beginning of their careers the guys stimulated each other relying on luxury cars and houses, now respect if you win those who put the most expensive and renowned bottle of wine on the table".

In fact, obsessed with good wine are many in the NBA. Jimmy Butler always carries a suitcase full of pinot noir, Dwyane Wade has founded his own label, the "D Wade Cellars", Steph Curry together with his wife, well-known food blogger, does not disdain several tasting tours in the Napa Valley. LeBron James actually plays the most "wine addicted" player title with an old friend of his, Carmelo Anthony. Melo in fact spends his holidays around the world visiting vineyards and wineries among the most renowned widening his skills in the field of oenology.

Another funny story that describes how good the culture of good wine has taken hold in the NBA is during the meeting of the US Team before the Rio de Janerio Olympics, a bottle collector from Houston received a phone call an agent to organize a visit with subsequent dinner, whose guests were Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan.

But we always start from something or someone, there is always "the hare" that starts in solitary and in anticipation, faster than the others. In this case, the hare in question, the one who has opened the way to everyone in the world of good wine, is not a player but a coach and precisely the huge Gregg Popovich.

The coach of San Antonio Spurs, in addition to being a cult figure of contemporary basketball and one of the most winning coach ever, is a great wine connoisseur. To make you better understand the character and his passion, I will tell you a typical dinner after a game away from his Spurs. Once Pop abandoned the arena, local people recommended the best restaurants in the city and with a supply of 4/5 cars the culinary tour starts, but above all the oenological tour, in the city that hosts it. 

Doublets and triplets of restaurants distributed in this way: the starter in a restaurant, the first course in another restaurant, the second in another and finally the dessert in a fourth restaurant. This is to have the opportunity to view more wine lists possible. Keeping in mind that the Americans invented the system of serving wine with goblets, Pop chooses the dish he wants in the restaurant he wants with the matching dish/wine he likes.