The Miami Heat‘s center Bam Adebayo is in the midst of the best campaign of his NBA career and based on his daily diet and workout regimen, his elite level of performance is no fluke.
While some players slack off after signing a max contract like Adebayo, who inked a five-year $163 million extension that kicked at the start of the 2022 NBA season, this Heat All-Star never stopped working hard to improve his game.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the 24-year-old detailed his daily routine, and merely reading about it would make most people tired. But in order to play at a superstar level, Adebayo says, “consistency is key.”
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“I prioritize consistency over intensity. Sticking to my daily routine keeps me disciplined and on track to succeed every day; it’s the little things that add up and ultimately take you to that next level,” the 6-foot-9 center said.
“My daily routine is all about nailing those little things: I wake up around 6, have my protein shake, go to the gym, then I go lift, then I go to practice. I finish up around 2:30, spend some time with my mom, and go to bed early. I’m making sure I’m drinking my gallon of water every day and eating right. It’s that consistency that’s gotten me to where I’m at.”
The routine sounds incredibly intense, but it’s obviously working for Adebayo, who’s in the mix to be the 2022 NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, an individual honor not won by a Heat player since Alonzo Mourning won it back-to-back in 1999 and 2000.
Adebayo, who scored 30 points with 17 rebounds and three steals during Miami’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 11, is also thriving on offense. Thus far this season, he’s averaging 19 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.
Adebayo Dropped 10 Pounds in College By Cutting Out Cookies & Fried Foods
Before the Heat selected Adebayo as the No. 14 overall pick during the 2017 NFL Draft, the Kentucky star spoke about how changing up his diet had a drastic effect on his game.
“I have to stay away from there,” Adebayo told the Courier-Journal‘s Fletcher Page of his regular trips to Insomnia Cookies on Jersey Street. He also gave up fried foods, which is no easy feat, especially in Kentucky.
In addition to a clean diet, Adebayo said assistant Kenny Payne had him running before each practice, which cause the young forward to drop 10 pounds. As the weight came off, his game elevated.
During the first 16 games of the 2017 season, Adebayo “averaged just 5.9 rebounds per game,” and “never reached double digits on the glass,” Page reported. Following his weight loss and regular sprint workouts, Adebayo started averaging 15 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
Heat’s Head Coach Describes Adebayo as ‘The Matrix’
Because of Adebayo’s unique skills on offense and defense, Miami Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra described the Olympic gold medalist as “The Matrix,” per the Miami Herald. “It feels like he’s in two or three places at once.”
“I think every year in the last whatever years, I think he has deserved to be in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year,” Spoelstra continued. “He just makes you so dynamic defensively. There aren’t many guys in the league that can do what he does. Draymond Green, and the list probably stops there.”
“He can do anything and everything defensively,” Spoelstra continued. “His versatility defensively is all across the board, whether he has to protect the rim, whether he’s out switching on perimeters, whether he’s taking charges, whether he’s just mucking everything up as a weakside defender. He can do all of that.”
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