There are many perks to being a professional athlete — from fame to money to opportunity.
And yet, there is one major drawback.
This season, the Miami Heat will be on the road for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means players will be away from their family and friends.
Guard Ray Allen, who said he always prays for the health of loved ones that make him happy and a better person, will miss those he is thankful for most during the holidays.
“Presence, availability,” Allen said on Sunday during his Ray of Hope Thanksgiving event. “That’s a must-have, but I don’t get that this year. It’s kind of sad for us. “
Instead, Allen and his teammates will feast at LeBron James’ home in Akron, Ohio. The Heat face the Cavaliers on Wednesday before traveling for a Friday game in Toronto against the Raptors.
James has taken food and drink orders, but don’t think twice that he’ll hand over remote control power.
“[We’re] at the mercy of whatever his topic of conversation will be, and it will be the Cowboys because they’ll be on TV,” Allen joked.
Allen, 38, will use the celebration as an excuse to cheat on his gluten-free diet for a day.
The 17-year veteran went from 206 to 197 pounds this summer in order to get down to his college weight. He hopes it will help him recover quickly during a long and strenuous NBA season.
“My diet’s changed a lot, so I’ve changed how I eat,” Allen said. “I may splurge a little more than I would otherwise [because] you just have to. It’s the one time you sit around and eat. It’s not right on Thanksgiving if you don’t feel fat after eating.
“The cardinal sin for Thanksgiving — you put your food on your plate and for it not to touch. Your food is supposed to touch. That’s how it’s supposed to be. You sit down to eat and be a glutton for one day at least.”