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Battle of the Juices: Wiz vs. Pistons

[Super Bowl Media Day memories to follow. Great timing.]

Earlier today, we judged the Wizards and the Pistons based on their car commercials. The Wiz came out on top.

I forgot to do this, but we were also supposed to judge the two franchises based on their juice preferences. The Wiz, you'll recall, drink Tough Juice. The Pistons counter; their primary juice affiliation is with Tahitian Noni Juice, "the best noni juice product on the market," and a product that is prominently marketed by Chauncey Billups. First, a word from our sponsor:

Each TAHITIAN NONI product represents the Tahitian people's desire to share their gift of noni with the world.

Noni harvesting has benefited the economy of Tahiti tremendously. Since TAHITIAN NONI® Juice entered the market 10 years ago, thousands of jobs have been created and noni has become the number one agricultural export of Tahiti.

Well then. This video makes the following claim, which really should be prominently reported: "Chauncey credits his continued success to two things: Persistence and Tahitian Noni juice."

Tony Parker checks for excess Noni Juice. (By Brian Bahr - Getty Images)

Really, that's it? Persistence and Noni juice? I'm pretty persistent, I think, which means I might be just a few glasses of Noni juice short of an NBA contract. Oh, Chauncey also says "It keeps you stronger longer," without specifying what exactly he's talking about, although I think I might have gotten an e-mail about that.

Chauncey also mentions Noni's endurance powers in this press release, pointing out that he "began drinking TAHITIAN NONI Juice and after a few weeks I noticed my endurance levels were higher and my ability to perform late in the fourth quarter had improved." He mentions the Noni stuff on his NBA journal, his is a featured testimonial over on the famous Nonibuzz site, and he's pictured drinking it over here. And the company lists him as a spokesperson, along with a professional snowboarder, a Chinese volleyball star, an Australian super model and some equestrian types.

You'll recall that T.O. brought Tahitian Noni juice into our world just two Super Bowls ago, when he claimed Noni Juice and prayer had healed his broken leg. Well, some people were skeptical, and last year the Deseret Daily News reported further problems:

Provo-based Tahitian Noni International is one of the fastest- growing companies in Utah, but while the juice fueling the company's profits adds endorsers like NBA superstar Chauncey Billups and enjoys unsolicited plugs from radio talk-show curmudgeon Don Imus and NFL lightning rod Terrell Owens, it also has been the subject of two negative television reports in recent weeks.

First, the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles sent a news team undercover and found two Tahitian Noni distributors making improper claims about the drink's health benefits.

Then ABC's national morning show "Good Morning America" aired a segment that said noni juice in general naturally contains some helpful vitamins and minerals but only provides an energy boost because of its high natural sugar content. That report came just one month after the show's co-host, Robin Roberts, revealed on air that she drinks noni juice for breakfast each morning. Roberts uses a different brand from Tahitian Noni.

The two Los Angeles women who tried to sell Tahitian Noni Juice to the undercover television news reporters shared testimonials that the juice healed bad burns on one woman, restored eyesight to another suffering from macular degeneration and helped an AIDS patient survive.

"Even dementia," one distributor said, "if it's caught that early, then it will put it in reverse."

I need to run, so you'll have to judge for yourself which is the superior sweetened fruit beverage: the imaginary Tough Juice or the apparently real Tahitian Noni Juice. On the whole, I'd probably take the Tough Juice.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 30, 2007; 4:49 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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