We forget sometimes just how complicated a relationship most of our professional athletes have with food. You think you're worried about your body? Imagine running around in your pajamas being watched by millions 82 nights a year, with a bunch of middle-aged fellers with laptops inspecting your every move, noting when you look a little slower, or "sluggish." Imagine your entire career, your livelihood, resting on that extra pound or two. Imagine having team support staff whose job it is to inspect your body all day, every day. That might make us weird about food, too. So we probably shouldn't be surprised that Carmelo Anthony has been fasting for two weeks.
After the Knicks outlasted the Hornets yesterday 100–87 — a quite handy win, ending a three-game losing streak — Carmelo revealed that one of the reasons he hasn't been playing well lately was because he hasn't been eating properly. Actually: He hadn't been eating at all.
"I haven’t been eating the things I like, so it kind of de-energized me," he said. "I haven’t had a good meal in about two and a half weeks. I’m going to get some food right now. I'm going to get me the biggest steak I can get."
Well, then. First off, maybe Carmelo has felt de-energized, but all told, the reason the Knicks have struggled the last two weeks has little to nothing to do with Carmelo. (He has only scored fewer than 24 points twice since December 9, and in those two and a half weeks, he has averaged 32.6 points per game.) Heck, imagine if the guy had been eating! Second, as Deadspin's Isaac Rauch pointed out, this isn't the first time that Carmelo has pulled this fasting business. Two years ago, he tried the "Daniel Fast," based on a verse in the Biblical book of Daniel, that is supposed to spiritually cleanse a man. ("I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.") It led to a bigger dip in his play then than it did this time, but Carmelo's quitting the fast anyway. He might have still been a little loopy, though, considering he made a joke about eating "Honey Nut Cheerios" after the game.
Regardless, Carmelo will get something in his stomach before the long flight to London for Thursday night to play the Pistons. (The game is at 3 p.m. here in the country that won the war.) And another weird twist in another weird season comes, and passes. Much like food will finally be doing for Carmelo now.