Professional athletes are a weird sort of people.
You have to be weird in one way or another to excel at anything in life, and the best NBA players are not only odd, but they are often so obsessed with basketball and getting better at their craft. They go to great lengths to be the best — some even developed strange superstitions they couldn’t function without.
The following five NBA superstitions are probably the weirdest you’ve ever heard.
1. Michael Jordan’s UNC practice shorts
This superstition is unrivaled among all other NBA superstitions, and this being Michael Jordan makes it even more priceless. According to many different accounts, after leading UNC to an NCAA championship back in 1982, Jordan developed a very peculiar superstition. He started believing that the shorts he played in were lucky. Jordan wore his UNC practice shorts under his NBA uniform during his entire career!
The funny thing is, this being Mike, it leads to a whole new trend in the NBA and the world, with players wearing longer shorts to simulate Jordan. Little did the know, MJ was only trying to cover up his lucky shorts.
2. Ray Allen was a man of routine
Ray Allen had the same superstitious pre-game routine for the entirety of his career. He would take a nap from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, followed by a chicken and rice lunch at 2:30 pm. He would then shave his head (he probably started doing this once he lost his hair :P), and he would be on the court at 3:30 pm ready for a 3-hour warm-up. Now, that’s a ritual!
No wonder Ray ended his career as one of the best shooters of all time, this man was programmed like a machine and was often made fun of by his teammates because of his ridiculous routines.
3. Jason Terry was the ‘shorts’ guy
Another absurd superstition about shorts. Every night before a game, Jason Terry had to sleep in his opponents’ shorts, yes you read that right. And that’s not all; it couldn’t be the kind of shorts you buy in an NBA store, it had to be the real game-worn shorts.
Terry always had a good relationship with all equipment managers across the league, and this way, he made sure he got all of the necessary shorts in time.
“I’ve got buddies against almost every team, so I’ve collected all the shorts.”
4. Caron Butler used to chew straws and chug 2-liter Mountain Dew’s
It’s hard to say which superstition is the strangest, but Caron Butler’s straw chewing and Mountain Dew chugging routine enter the conversation.
Before every game, Butler would dring a two-liter Mountain Dew, and he would then continue to chew straws. He would chew about 12 straws per game. Can you imagine what his teammates thought when they saw him bringing straws to the bench?
The NBA would later ban Butler from chewing straws because of potential health concerns.
5. Rajon Rondo pre-game shower ritual
It is appropriate that this takes the #5 spot on our strangest NBA superstitions list because Rondo used to take not one but five showers on game day to get ready. Imagine how many hours he spent under the shower just satisfying his OCD. Rondo was often laughed at by his teammates, but this was something he couldn’t play without.