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NBA Players Really, Really Love Chipotle

NBA players: they're just like us, except they make millions of dollars to play a playground game and are goddamn giants. Aside from that, though, the 20- and 30-something gym Goliaths have something in common with the rest of us normals: they love Chipotle. And in fact, they DGAF (Google it) if it might make them sick.

Sporting News recently did a deep dive (as opposed to a shallow dive, a Manu Ginobili special) that showcases the ballers' love for the fast-casual Mexican chain. None of them seemed at all scared off by all the recent food-borne illness troubles, either -- some even see it as a blessing.

"I'm not worried; I'll be all right,” Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson told Sporting News. “I actually like it more now because the lines aren't as long."

Henson said he eats at Chipotle four times a week. Double-meat burritos are as much fuel for a guy who's 6ft 11in and plays a sport professionally as they are lunch. A regular desk jockey probably can't pull that off without developing a serious basketball where his waistline used to be. But Henson is far from the only player who loves the place, as evidenced by quotes from Charlotte Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky and Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes.

In fact, Barnes' teammate Klay Thompson was spotted at a Chipotle toward the end of 2014, though he tricked a fan into thinking he was now-reigning MVP Stephen Curry.

A video posted by @alinafaaola on

In 2013, Kevin Durant was spotted at a DC-area Chipotle. When you're 6ft 9in, it's hard to NOT stand out in the burrito line. And just last summer, Houston Rockets star James Harden was photographed leaving a Houston Chipotle with his girlfriend, Khloe Kardashian.


Even during the teeth of the recent E. coli and norovirus scares, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson summed up the attitude many have taken toward the specter of eating a delicious burrito and possibly playing for it later:

But while Henson's and other current players' affinity runs deep, Chipotle's biggest NBA groupie is sure to surprise: Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge.

"I have to admit, there are days I eat there twice," Ainge told ESPN. "I just like Chipotle."

Ainge frequents Chipotle often enough that workers sometimes don't even ask what he wants; they just assemble a double-chicken burrito bowl. Although Ainge usually adds his own twist.

"He always gets two cups of that orange dressing and pours it on," Celtics assistant General Manager Mike Zarren said. "It makes no sense to anyone but him."

Mind you, the first person Ainge hired as GM was a doctor who specializes in "brain-typing." So he's not without his known quirks.

Still, it looks like no matter how bad things get for Chipotle in the immediate future, the restaurant will always have fans of enormous size. Ya know, because NBA players are all really tall [Ed. note: Muggsy Bogues disagrees with this].

Maybe that's the key to playing in the NBA: keep working on your handle, and eating those double-chicken burrito bowls.

And also grow a foot.


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Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News Editor. He thinks the carnitas are the best meat choice at Chipotle. He sucks at basketball but loves the Cavs. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.