Fiesta Shorts Hot Ones: Can the San Antonio Spurs Handle the Spice?

Fiesta Shorts Hot Ones

Have you ever found yourself standing in your kitchen, half-awake, trying to cobble together a snack? Then, upon failing to find anything that will truly satisfy your needs, being hit by an epiphany that the members of the San Antonio Spurs surely enjoy a good snack as well? And then you start wondering if any of the players are cool with spicy food like on Hot Ones?

It’s okay if you’ve only experienced half or none of those things, because it literally just happened to me. So, here we go! It’s the official Fiesta Shorts Spurs Spice Rankings.

Let’s Get Spicy Like Hot Ones

Instead of a 1-15 ranking of who can handle the most spice, I placed players in tiers. For one, it’s a lot easier that way. Secondly, I’m completely making this up as I go. Third, naming tiers is fun. Okay, based on their characteristics on and off the court, let’s get started.

“Ketchup is Spicy” Tier

  • Jakob Poeltl
  • Jeremy Sochan
  • Doug McDermott
  • Romeo Langford
  • Tre Jones

Poeltl and Sochan are too European to appreciate spice. On top of that, they played college ball at BYU and Baylor – two of the least spicy places I can think of. I’m throwing Jones in here because he went to Duke and I just can’t believe people who go to Duke are allowed to eat spicy food.

“Jalapeño Makes Me Cry” Tier

  • Isaiah Roby
  • Joe Wieskamp
  • Malaki Branham
  • Dominick Barlow

It’s okay guys, spice isn’t for everyone. Perhaps a few years in San Antonio will help these guys build their tolerance. The main difference between this tier and “Ketchup is Spicy” is that these guys don’t preemptively order milk with dinner or they have slightly better poker faces.

“I Love Sriracha” Tier

  • Keita Bates-Diop
  • Jordan Hall
  • Blake Wesley

We need to dispel any rumors that sriracha is actually spicy. It’s good, and it can improve a meal. It can ever so slightly up the heat on an otherwise bland dish. These guys are in for a world of pain if they step out of their comfort zone. At least they can eat a jalapeño popper without tearing up though!

Keldon Johnson makes tamales, spice level unknown.
Keldon Johnson makes tamales, spice level unknown. Photo: FOX San Antonio

“For Better or Worse, Not Afraid” Tier

  • Devin Vassell
  • Josh Primo
  • Keldon Johnson
  • Zach Collins

These fearless youths are open to adventure, whether they’re prepared for it or not. It’s a great way to learn your limits, or to learn your limits and continue ignoring them anyway. They might not sign a waiver and enter a hot wing eating competition, but they’ll order whatever sauce is a level or two below that sauce. After all, they’re still young enough to survive the consequences the next day.

If you’ve got any questions about why Collins is here, I must tell you that I’ve had some incredibly spicy food in Portland. I’d like to believe Collins has too.

“I Breathe Fire” Tier

  • Gorgui Dieng
  • Alize Johnson
  • Josh Richardson
  • Tommy Kuhse

Let me start with Kuhse. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I fully believe that this dude is one of those sneaky guys who can eat fire without even sweating. Open up a photo and look at his eyes, you’ll see what I mean.

Dieng, as the elder statesman of the team, feels like a natural fit. He’d eat your spiciest homemade salsa and say something like “Oh, yeah that is kind of hot” while the person next to them coughs uncontrollably for 45 minutes.

Lastly, I think I most want to go out for wings with Johnson and Richardson. I dunno, they just give me solid super hot wing-eating vibes.

Can YOU Handle the Heat?

If any Spurs happen to be reading this, please do let me know how horribly wrong I’ve gotten this. Next time I’m in San Antonio, the first order of wings are on Fiesta Shorts (maybe let me run this by the finance team first).

Thanks for reading, please be kind to each other out there.

Fiesta Shorts is a new weekly series on Project Spurs. Before the 2022-2023 NBA season, Fiesta Shorts, “A totally non-serious Spurs blog” existed as a Substack and newsletter, and you can find old posts here. Now, and going forward, you’ll find Fiesta Shorts on Project Spurs, and we (a.k.a. Fiesta Shorts a.k.a. Trace a.k.a. the author) are stoked about it!


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