Zhaire doesn’t know precisely what caused his allergic reaction. Perhaps it was cross-contact with peanuts, perhaps cross-contact with something else. He knows the Sixers were careful with his meals before the reaction, and have taken even more precautions since. (A recent food allergy test revealed new, lesser allergies: shellfish, green beans, cabbage, peas, and sesame.) He drinks seven protein shakes a day (he downed three shakes during his hour-long conversation with GQ), and he treasures his mom’s cooking, especially her go-to dish of pasta and chicken strips. “Since the reaction, if I didn’t eat something previously, I’m not going to try it now,” Zhaire says.
He maintains that he’s not nervous, though there are signs he’s working out the psychological kinks that come after a major allergic reaction. He is, for instance, cutting out any foods that could even possibly cause him trouble.