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Winfield: Jeff Green’s dunking prowess ... and the diet that propels him

Phoenix Suns v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s one of the biggest surprises in a surprising season: how Jeff Green at 34 looks 10 years younger, particularly when he’s powering down the lane, the ball in his hands, his eyes on the rim. KA-BOOM!

No doubt, there’s a lot of reasons why Green has turned the Fountain of Youth into the Statue of Liberty. There’s always genes, conditioning and the confidence of his coaches. Lets not forget that Green was on the sidelines last season until Mike D’Antoni picked him up in the “bubble.”

But as Kristian Winfield notes, there’s also diet whose value Green is very much aware of.

“When I was young, I was able to play through a lot of the eating habits that I had, as far as some fast food,” Green told the Daily News. “(My diet) definitely has changed because I’m not as young anymore and able to perform on the court eating fried chicken every day.”

Most players understand that, but Green who wants to play another 10 years in the NBA is totally into it. Nutrition, he notes, gives him energy and energy translates into all those highlights.

“It’s definitely helped as far as me being able to do what I do in year 14. The nutrition has definitely given me the energy,” Green said. “The information for what you need to put in your body, which allows you to go out there and move at a certain rate like you were young.”

Winfield takes the reader through Green’s day, from breakfast through lunch and dinner ... and offers helpful background information on how different foods help different aspects of person’s health, courtesy of a nutritionist from the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Nets official hospital.

Take pizza (why not?) As Winfield writes, Green will partake on off-days “and in Brooklyn who can blame him?”

“Pizza gives you cheese, and that’s calcium, and that’s good for your bones. There’s tomato sauce, and that’s Vitamin C,” the HSS nutritionist Heidi Skolnik told Winfield. “That gives you tissue repair for all that tissue breakdown that happens when you’re pounding every day, and for your immune system. And then there’s starch in the bread, and that fuels our muscles. You could make it more by putting peppers and onions on that pizza, or making a side salad with it.”

Winfield, a bit of a gourmet himself, even provides some of Mr. and Mrs. Green’s favorite recipes. That’s great just don’t expect your max vertical to improve.