If we told you before the 2019-20 NBA season began that the Oklahoma City Thunder will be sitting comfortably in the No. 7 seed of the Western Conference midway through,
After all, OKC traded more than half of the starting lineup, including two of its biggest stars (Paul George to Los Angeles Clippers, Russell Westbrook to Houston Rockets), in the offseason and ended up with a ragtag crew led by a 34-year-old Chris Paul and a sophomore Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
So far, the Thunder has a 23-17 win-loss record, just below No. 6 Dallas Mavericks (25-15) and 4.5 games better than eighth seed Memphis Grizzlies (19-22).
A huge part of the Oklahoma overachievers is CP3, whom critics described as "overpaid" and "washed," but is currently averaging a 16.5 points (one of the five Thunder double-digit scorers), as well as a team-leading 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game. More importantly, the man called by Rajon Rondo a "horrible teammate" has been a solid locker room presence and perfect mentor to SGA.
Apparently, Paul's career resurgence all starts with him embracing a "plant-based life" in June of last year, which he talked about in a recent interview with Men's Health: "So far, so good. Not easy. But for me it's working."
The nine-time All-Star revealed that he went "cold turkey," to the point that he "was itching. I thought I needed a chicken wing or something." It helped that he was given the opportunity to executive produce the documentary The Game Changers, which is about "plant-based eating, protein, and strength," according to its official website.
"For me, being as competitive as I am, I looked at this and I was like: hold up, let me try this out," said Paul, who discussed about going vegan and posed naked in last year's ESPN Magazine's Body Issue. "And I tried it, and the first thing that changes when you go plant based — and it might be too much information — is going to the rest room. It becomes...a lot faster. A whole lot faster."
The biggest change for the Point God, though, is that despite the physical toll ("aches and pains") of an 82-game season, he is "feel(ing) really good right now."
The 15-year veteran shared, "I started working out and training and I got to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and I thought, am I not lifting hard enough? Am I not training hard enough? Why am I not achy? I ain't trying to say you have to stay with it, but give it a try."