Domantas Sabonis

Domas reveals he started strict diet before Kings' 2023-24 season

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Domantas Sabonis continues to be a dominant force for the Kings in the 2023-24 NBA season, and a change he made in the offseason could be a huge reason why.

The Kings center revealed to The Athletic's Sam Amick that he completely adjusted his diet this past summer after undergoing a test that displayed the different kinds of foods he's sensitive to.

The result? Having to cut off several foods that he enjoyed, which wound up being a difficult challenge for the Italian food-loving big man.

"I learned that everything I love I couldn’t eat (laughs). So it definitely was hard," Sabonis told Amick. "It was hard. I get to do my test again after six months, and usually they say that everything you eat, a lot your body gets adapted to it, so hopefully the things I love that I’ve cut out, when I redo this test, some things might pop back up that I’m allowed to eat again.

The strict diet made Sabonis change his lifestyle, and he somewhat was surprised by the result.

"No carbs, like wheat," Sabonis said. "I had to go gluten-free. I can’t do gluten-free pasta, and I love Italian food. There’s a lot of carbs in my diet, so I had to basically cut most of them out in terms of pasta, bread. I love croissants, pastries, all that stuff. Those would be my cheat meals. So I have to stay away from that.

"But I actually didn’t lose weight. I actually gained weight, which is the craziest thing. I just have like no body fat now. … The weight is still there — 248 to 250 (pounds). That’s where I stay at during the season. But the body fat is completely down. It wasn’t high before, but now it’s like nothing."

As difficult as the big adjustments have been for Sabonis, it seems to be paying off for the 6-foot-10 Lithuanian big man.

Sabonis is averaging nearly career highs across the board this season, with 19.9 points on 61.9-percent shooting from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range, with 13 rebounds and 7.9 assists in 45 games. He's also coming off a historic performance in Sacramento's gritty win over the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies.

With 20 points, a career-high 26 rebounds and five assists while shooting 10 of 11 from the floor against Memphis, Saonis joined Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to record at least 20 points, 25 rebounds and five assists in a single game while shooting 90 percent or better from the field.

Aside from his food consumption changes, Sabonis put the work in on the court all summer to help build upon the Kings' newfound success as they look to go from good to great and make it back into the playoff picture with a chance to eventually compete for a title.

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