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NBA’s JaVale McGee Credits Vegan Beyond Burgers for Improvements

Image Credit: JaVale McGee/ Instagram

Los Angeles Laker JaVale McGee is giving vegan Beyond Meat credit for reviving his once quickly-declining NBA career.

The Los Angeles Lakers center and two-time NBA champion told the Los Angeles Times that he had gained weight and knew he had to trim down as a member of the Dallas Mavericks in 2015.

“I was in Dallas and I had gained weight and knew becoming a vegetarian was the quickest way to lose it,” he said. “I just wasn’t sure if I could do it.”

McGee, who was struggling to get any playing time with the Mavs, took a trip to Whole Foods Market, where he discovered plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat.

“I was just looking for vegan stuff, saw the name and was like ‘let me try this,’ and it was really good,” said McGee.

“Like I couldn’t tell the difference between that and meat. I thought, ‘If I can make it taste good and I’m not really a cook, imagine what a chef could do,” he added.

McGee has since gone from being just a bench warmer and the two-time recipient of Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaqtin’ MVP award – which highlights foolishness on the court – to a bit player on the Golden State Warriors and now a significant piece of the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers.

McGee is in his 13th season in the NBA but is seeing a late-career surge, which he says his plant-based diet and the Beyond Burgers played a role in.

However, JaVale McGee is not the only NBA player that enjoys Beyond Meat.

Some other NBA athletes who eat the plant-based burger include Houston Rockets star guard Chris Paul, Philadelphia 3-point specialist JJ Redick, Knicks center DeAndre Jordan, and Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes.

Beyond Meat is expected to announce a partnership with some of these athletes in the coming days in an attempt to broaden their reach.

Boston Celtics star point guard Kyrie Irving, who eats a vegan diet and has had good things to say about the burger, will reportedly be featured in a commercial promoting the plant-based meat products.

Beyond Meat has become incredibly popular in the 10 years since it was founded in 2009 as more people turn away from animal protein and seek plant-based alternatives.

The company works with a team of scientists who study meat at the molecular level and then find plants to replicate the taste and texture.

The California-based company now sells its products in over 50 countries around the world, including to chains like TGI Friday’s and Carl’s Jr that offer it on the menu.

Beyond Meat is now worth an estimated half-billion dollars following its IPO filing, according to CNBC.

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Paul Ibirogba

Written by Paul Ibirogba

Paul is a former writing teacher turned writer. He loves to travel the world (the southeast Asia region in particular), meet people from a variety of cultures and learn about various lifestyles. When he's not doing one of those things, he's probably reading non-fiction or watching YouTube videos.

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