Normally during the NBA Playoffs (and regular season), there’s an abundance of basketball-related news to keep the nation’s biggest media outlets busy and then in the offseason, we see a flood of weird profiles about athletes because sportswriters have to meet deadlines.
So when I saw this article in the NYT about Steph Curry‘s popcorn obsession I first wondered why the author didn’t wait a month or two to publish after the playoffs are over. Then I started reading and realized that this is some of the best sports-related content of the decade.
Steph Curry is OBSESSED with popcorn. I love popcorn but I have a very particular flavor profile that I look for in popcorn because I like to make it my own. I use high-end extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, and occasionally a splash of balsamic vinegar. This is the perfect popcorn for me but not Steph Curry. He’s a purist.
For the purity of the pastime, Curry said, he never adds anything to the popcorn to change its appearance, taste or temperature. He also said he “can visualize where the popcorn is” in any arena on the N.B.A. map.
“And then the experience comes right back,” Curry said. “It’s sick, bro. It’s a problem.”
He spoke with reverence of the dedicated case of fresh popcorn that the Dallas Mavericks had waiting for him just a quick left turn inside the visitors’ locker room at American Airlines Center on Jan. 13. Curry scored 48 points that night. (via)
For Curry, the popcorn helps him feel at home no matter what arena he’s at in the nation. He lives his life inside of these basketball arenas and this is his comfort food which makes everywhere feel like home on the road. His pre-game routine begins with “Get off the bus, walk into the locker room, put my stuff down, go straight to the popcorn table,”.
The Times approached Steph Curry about his rumored ‘power ranking’ of every NBA arena’s popcorn, thinking it would make for a great story (which it does). Instead of turning over a boring list, Steph wanted to go above and beyond and list the five categories he ranks each popcorn on and tabulate a final score for each.
My Dallas Mavericks came in at #1 with American Airlines Arena popcorn having a 24 out of 25 overall score, only losing 1-point for crunchiness (4 out of 5). Here’s how the top 15 look:
1. Dallas Mavericks – 24
2. Brooklyn Nets – 23 (perfect saltiness, crunchiness, and presentation)
3. Miami Heat – 22 (perfect freshness and presentation)
4. Portland Trailblazers – 20 (perfect crunchiness)
5. Sacramento Kings – 19 (perfect presentation)
6. Toronto Raptors – 18
7. Houston Rockets – 18
8. Oklahoma City Thunder – 18
9. Golden State Warriors – 18 (perfect crunchiness)
10. New York Knicks – 17
11. Indiana Pacers – 17 (perfect crunchiness)
12. New Orleans Pelicans – 17 (perfect presentation)
13. Minnesota Timberwolves – 17 (perfect saltiness)
14. Washington Wizards – 17
15. Chicago Bulls – 16
Do you feel slighted by where your NBA team is ranked on Curry’s list? Are you okay with the placement? Do you have any recommendations on ingredients to put on popcorn? Let me know.
You can see his in-depth rankings here on the NYT Interactive page.