NBA player Caris LeVert is one of the unspoken members of the Brooklyn Nets’ young and exciting core. His exciting yet balanced play made him a valuable member of the Nets team with D’Angelo Russell last year. But a gruesome injury made fans wonder if he’d ever play the same way again.
LeVert did everything he could to get back on the court. This included a diet he swears helped get him return to his team.
Caris LeVert’s NBA career pre-injury
Although he was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 2016, LeVert was quickly moved to the Brooklyn Nets. Coming off of a catastrophic trade — costing the Nets several draft picks in exchange for aging veterans like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce — Brooklyn struggled to win.
LeVert showed promise from his early NBA days. The rookie averaged eight points, three rebounds, and nearly two assists off the bench for the recovering team. After a vastly better sophomore season, LeVert looked better than ever at the start of the 2018-19 season.
Through 14 games, he averaged 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and a steal. Unfortunately, LeVert suffered a gruesome foot injury weeks into the season. He’d landed on his foot against the Timberwolves and the severity of how it looked silenced the entire Minnesota crowd. (Videos of the injury are not for the faint of heart.)
Levert’s teammates were visibly distressed as they watched him get transported to the hospital via ambulance. Fortunately, his dislocated foot did not involve any bones or ligaments. As a result, LeVert only missed three months of action before returning in February.
While LeVert experienced an intense rehabilitation period, he credits what he ate with helping get him to return to the court and perform well.
LeVert’s rehab diet
LeVert was not at full strength when he returned in February, but he utilized every game and off-day to strengthen his foot with balancing drills. LeVert’s new teammate, Kevin Durant, has his own rehab assignment, so the pair keep the Nets training staff busy helping both NBA players recover.
According to GQ, LeVert’s recovery includes a healthy diet of fish and vegetables. He eats a normal breakfast of eggs, veggies, and oatmeal, and he cuts back on pork and beef throughout recovery. One thing LeVert swears by is a drink his team gives players before games.
Rather surprisingly, the Nets fill their players with nutrients via pre-game fruit smoothies. LeVert claims to adjust his drinks based on his daily needs, but by drinking smoothies, he gives his body what it needs, not what it wants. In fact, several teams have dietary traditions. The Portland Trail Blazers serve their players meticulously crafted coffee before every game.
LeVert is having one of his best seasons, and teams are doing more things like this to ensure their NBA players are at peak performance.
LeVert is an example of optimal training for the NBA
The training world is an ever-evolving industry. Trainers no longer serve as hybrid doctors and physical therapists. Now, they try to impact every aspect of their players’ physical and mental health. New technologies, studies, and breakthroughs mean that trainers have to do a little bit of everything.
Weight rooms and basketball courts are important to every NBA player, but their diets, recovery, and even mental health are crucial. LeVert is a testament to self-help and a team that helps him properly recover.