What a revelatory week in the NBA.

Not on the court. On the court, we merely saw the playoffs creep closer, saw Russell Westbrook add yet more triple-doubles and saw the situation remain surprisingly tight at the top of both conferences.

No, all the revelations came from outside the lines, where we learned of two revolutions that have changed the way NBA players eat, sleep and, ahem, score.

ESPN this week produced a pair of incredible features on previously unreported topics - the obsession throughout the league with the humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and the way the internet has increased players' efficiency in the bedroom.


One, relatable to schoolchildren across America. The other, not so much. And both painted the picture of a fun-loving league where athletes embrace trends and find ways to flourish during arduous and extended roadtrips.

The PB&J craze that swept across the NBA began in 2007, when boisterous Celtics big man Kevin Garnett chowed down on the pre-game snack, played well and, according to ESPN, demanded: "We're going to need PB&J in here every game now."

Boston proceeded to win the championship and, after the title-winning team broke up and the Celtics diaspora spread throughout the NBA, the legend grew and eventually became a league-wide addiction. Now every team offers up a PB&J spread in locker rooms - and everyone takes the snack business very seriously.

ESPN reported that the Milwaukee Bucks had the most extensive operation: "A pre-game buffet featuring smooth, crunchy and almond butters, an assortment of jellies (raspberry, strawberry, grape, blueberry, apricot) and three breads from a local bakery (white, wheat and gluten-free)."

The team devour 20 to 30 sandwiches a game and even travel with the ingredients, which rookies prepare on the plane. When, that is, they don't have their heads in their phones working out their upcoming sleeping arrangements.

What started as a simple question - why have the winning percentages for road teams increased so significantly - led ESPN to an altogether modern discovery: "It's absolutely true that you get at least two hours more sleep getting laid on the road today versus 15 years ago," said one former All Star.

The equation is simple. Where once players would have spent the hours following an away game trawling local clubs, sinking alcohol and looking for some companionship, the new era allows much more convenience.

Using dating apps and Instagram, players can even arrange - with the assistance of the hotel - for their road romances to be waiting in their rooms before the team bus arrives.

That means no more late nights, no more booze and far more sleep, leading to a healthier and better-performing player when away from home.

And the stats bear it out: in 1987-88, road teams won only 32 per cent of games; in 2013-14, the year after Tinder was launched, that number had risen to 42 per cent.

Factor in a few PB&J sandwiches from room service and, right now, it's a good time to be an NBA player.

It's a successful tournament when no one gets assassinated

The World Baseball Classic concluded on Thursday and, while New Zealand were again absent (thanks a lot, softball), Puerto Rico was captivated.

The tournament, now in its fourth edition, is like baseball's World Cup, only many of the best players stayed home to play instead in meaningless pre-season games. But despite Major League Baseball ruling the sport and pro teams encouraging their players to remain in spring training rather than link up with their nation, the tournament still offers top-level baseball and is fully embraced in Central America, at least.

That was certainly clear in Puerto Rico's run to the final, where they eventually lost the showpiece against the United States, who claimed their first title.

Unbeaten until the final, baseball fever swept through Puerto Rico, matched only by the rise of unseemly hairdos.

With the team deciding to dye their hair and beards blond for the tournament, the trend was followed to unsustainable proportions back home. So many Puerto Ricans opted to follow their heroes' example that the nation suffered a severe hair dye shortage.

"Ever since they began winning, this has not stopped," said Myrna Rios, a manager at a Sally Beauty Supply store in San Juan. "We have run out of the product in most of our stores."

And uniting in awful hairstyles even had a positive civic effect on Puerto Rico, as third baseman Carlos Correa explained.

"There were no crimes, there were no assassinations back home while we were playing in this classic," he said. "We had our whole nation behind us."