How Andre Iguodala’s scolding helped Kevon Looney change bad diet

When Andre Iguodala gives advice, the wise thing to do is listen.

Warriors center Kevon Looney learned that the hard way early in his NBA career regarding his diet and the types of food he was eating.

“Yeah, the first day, I don’t even think he said ‘hello,’ ” Looney told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors insider Monte Poole in September. “He stopped and looked at the plate of food I was eating. My first year I wasn’t trying to listen that much, [I was] like, ‘Man, go on, I’ve been eating like this my whole life and I’m here.’

“But after a season in, I learned he was right and I need to listen to him on everything.”

Looney was drafted No. 30 in the 2015 NBA Draft as a 19-year-old with college student eating habits. He said he continued eating fried foods and even at team dinners, he would pass on “fancy steaks” for chicken tenders.

However, the then-31-year-old Iguodala was not having it.

“He’s like, ‘Man, you got to grow up at some point,'” Looney remembered. “One day I had some apple juice and he’s telling me how many grams of sugar and I’m like, ‘Bro it’s apple juice, everybody drinks apple juice.’

“But he was right.”

Now, as he enters his seventh year in the league, that teenage diet is way in the past. The 27-year-old now has a personal chef and talked about the importance of a healthy diet.

“It means a lot for me. Our body is how we make our money so being healthy is the key to a long career and that’s what you want to do: play as long as possible,” Looney said. “Make as much money as you can for your family. And putting the right things in your body is what can get you through a long season.

“Having a chef and a person who knows your body really well, coming into the league, I didn’t really know it was that serious … there’s really a science to it and you got to go the extra mile for yourself.”

Looney definitely has gone the extra mile since being that teenager craving chicken tenders. He’s now a three-time NBA champion and has developed into a special leader for this team.

That, too, is partly thanks to Iguodala, who has served as Looney’s mentor for more than just his dietary needs.

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“He’s been huge. He’s been my vet and my mentor since I’ve been in the NBA,” Looney said. “I learned how to lead and talk to the new guys coming in because I learned from him so I kind of just share his knowledge that he gave me with the new guys coming in. He’s been huge in my career.

“He’s teaching me how to be a professional on and off the court. Showing me how to work. Showing me how to be a good teammate. Going over the game, I pride myself in having a good IQ and learning from him and learning how he sees the game, what he thinks on defense and the angles he uses and how he uses his hands. Just all the small things that people don’t really know that go into the game of basketball, he knows and he’s been teaching it. “

And just like with his bad eating habits, Looney said Iguodala will always keep it real with him.

“He will talk to anybody who will come up and listen,” Looney said. “He’s not one of those guys who will hide the knowledge. He’s open and he’ll tell you the truth as well. I know when I come to him, he’s not just going to sugarcoat it or just lie to me because I’m He’s going to tell me what I’m doing wrong, what I’m doing good.

“And when you have somebody like that in your corner, it’s amazing.”

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