Author’s Note: It is highly suggested you listen to this while reading the below post:
It was inevitable. With the extended lockout this Summer/Fall, someone in the NBA was coming back this season way out of shape. Even with a guy like Shawn Kemp serving as a glaring example of what can happen if you slip on your diet/workouts from the last lockout, someone was coming back this season super fat. My money was personally on Carmelo Anthony (I mean, have you been to New York? The food there is unreal), but it turns out that I was wrong. The Shawn Kemp of the 2011 NBA lockout was Boris Diaw of the Charlotte Bobcats. Just in case you haven’t seen the man recently (and since he plays for the Bobcats, I’ll assume most of you haven’t), here’s the new look Boris Diaw:
Damn. Now, I know what you’re thinking, how could he let himself go like that? Well, I’m an optimistic kind of guy, so I look at this in a slightly different light. Where you look and see a sad story of a young man in his prime giving up on himself the moment he had no one to hold himself accountable, I see something else. I see the amazing story of a man who, despite all the odds being stacked against him, has somehow done the impossible and maintained this ridiculous weight despite being a professional athlete.
Weight loss is a simple equation. Calories in cannot exceed calories out. Being a professional athlete means that you’re burning an insane amount of calories every day. Be it during a game, practice or other activities meant to keep you in your athletic prime, it’s an athlete’s job to stay fit and active. Somehow Boris has managed to do the latter without the former. And once you dig into the math behind how that’s possible, you’ll find an amazing story of a man who is fighting tremendously hard to stay in the husky jeans. Allow me to break this down for you.
Boris Diaw stands at 6′ 8″ and his billed weight in the 2010-2011 season was 235 pounds. His billed weight this season is 245 pounds, which is obviously a load of bullshit. Boris gained far more than 10 pounds in the offseason. For the sake of my analysis, I’m going to use three different scenarios. Scenario A will be using his billed weight of 245 pounds, regardless of how obviously incorrect it is. Scenario B will be assuming that he is currently 40 pounds heavier than his billed weight, tipping the scales at 285. Finally, Scenario C will be assuming the worst, and that Boris currently weighs 305 pounds, a full 60 pounds heavier than as billed. Personally, if I had to eyeball it, I would guess that Mr. Diaw is at least 285 pounds, if not slightly more. Regardless, these three scenarios will form the confidence intervals for my analysis.
Given Boris’ age (29), height and various estimates of weight, we can calculate his resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the amount of calories his body will burn solely keeping his heart beating, lungs breathing, brain functioning and all those other wonderful things that keep us alive. From there, we can use the Harris-Benedict Equation to determine how many more calories Boris will burn during his daily activity. As Boris is a professional athlete, we would be applying a factor of 1.9 to his RMR to determine his basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories he burns per day. We will also need to account for days in which he has a game, of which he’s currently averaging around 28 minutes of play, to fully determine the amount of calories Boris is burning daily.
By my estimates, Boris Diaw is burning anywhere from 4,581 to 5,292 calories per day when he’s not playing. On a game day, that amount will jump to somewhere between 5,150 to 6,000 calories per day. For reference, it is suggested that the average healthy person consume close to 2,000 calories per day, with women’s average being slightly below and men’s being slightly above. Assuming that the Bobcats play four games a week, Boris is burning somewhere in the vicinity of 34,343 to 39,876 calories per week. Given that his weight is staying constant, he is also consuming that amount of calories in a given week. The annual calculation will come into play later.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “That sounds like a hell of a lot of calories, but what does that really mean? Can you convert those numbers into something meaningful, like quantities of various food items?” Well, of course I can. I am an analyst by trade, you know.
As you can see from the above chart, in a given week, Boris Diaw has to eat a hell of a lot of garbage to maintain his current weight. We’re talking over 200 White Castle cheeseburgers, close to 100 beef chalupas from Taco Bell, somewhere in the vicinity of 2 gallons of ranch dressing or 10 large Meat Lover’s Pizzas from Pizza Hut. Pan-style crust, naturally.
It’s ridiculous. But surely Boris Diaw isn’t eating all processed garbage like Double Downs (around 70 per week) or Egg McMuffins (close to 125 each week). I mean, Boris is making $9M this year. He’s surely a man of refined taste and prefers to eat only natural, organic, whole foods. Knowing this, it made me wonder how many animals have their lives ended to produce this amount of food for Mr. Diaw. Well, what do you know, I can calculate that too!
Let’s say Boris goes pescetarian and gets all his calories from tuna. In a given year, Boris will eat 14-16 entire tuna. Now, this might not sound impressive, but keep in mind the average tuna weighs 200 pounds. He’d eat 14-16 entire 200 pound fish. That’s around one and a half tons of tuna. What if Boris Diaw ate nothing but chicken wings for a full year? Well, somewhere between 4,750 and 5,515 chickens would need to be slaughtered to produce that many wings. Ribs? It’d take between 134 to 155 pigs. Rack of lamb? 685 to 795 lamb. Or, my personal favorite, what if Boris Diaw takes after Mickey Arison and chooses to eat nothing but T-Bone steaks for each meal? Well, if that was the case, 100 to 116 cows would have to die to feed his habit. Literally! Oh yeah, got a pun in!
I know, it’s crazy impressive, isn’t it? See, you shouldn’t feel bad for Boris, you should marvel at what he’s doing.
But I’m not done yet. Not by a long shot. You see, the great thing about calories is that they are technically a unit of measurement for energy. Knowing that, I can make all sorts of awesome conversions. Check this out:
- In six months, Boris Diaw will consume the equivalent of 470 horsepower. That’s the same amount of energy capable of being produced by the engine of the newest production model Corvette.
- Every two years, Boris will consume the same amount of energy found in the explosion from the average stick of dynamite.
- In about six years, seven months and some change, Boris Diaw will have consumed enough energy to melt a full size ice sculpture of himself and then bring the water to a boil to cook some delicious spaghetti in.
Say all you want about the crazy physical feats NBA players can perform, but this one has got to be up there. I tip my hat at you Boris, I’m mad impressed.