This week Stephen Curry revealed, through a profile in The Athletic written by Marcus Thompson II, that his eyesight has been deteriorating through much of his pro career, and he finally had the issue addressed recently by getting contact lenses.
The greatest shooter of all time says that, for much of his pro career, he couldn’t see. His shooting since he got the corrective lenses? In his first nine games back, Curry attempted 109 3-pointers, making 56 of them. He’s shooting 51.4 percent from deep while attempting over ten 3-pointers a game.
It’s befuddling. It’s flabbergasting. The rest of the league can only throw its hands up – Curry became the greatest shooter ever with deteriorating eyesight. What are the other teams supposed to do now that he can see properly?
For me, though, what’s so interesting about Curry’s revelation is the timing of it. And while I’m sure Curry will continue to be excellent at shooting a basketball, his decision to reveal this publicly before the playoffs tells me a lot more about the type of competitor he is, and what type of leader he is.
Think of it this way: Curry’s eyesight has been deteriorating for years, and we never heard a peep about it. Curry got his vision fixed a month ago. His shooting immediately improved. Yet still, nothing in the press.
Then, a few weeks before the end of the season, Curry confides in a reporter that he got his vision fixed, and he’s never shot the ball better. The story comes out one week before the playoffs are set to begin.
For a Warriors team that is looking for motivation after multiple consecutive pushes to the NBA Finals, isn’t this the perfect narrative they need, not only for themselves, but to send to the rest of the league?
No longer are we talking about the Warriors’ constant bickering with the refs. No longer is the story that Kevin Durant has all but one foot out the door on his way to joining the Knicks. No longer are we talking about Draymond Green’s grating personality, or if Boogie Cousins can stay on the floor for the Warriors during crunch time in the playoffs.
Instead the narrative has flipped, and the Warriors seem indestructible again: Stephen Curry finally got his eyesight, and he might never miss again. For a team that was showing cracks, one story about some contact lenses has immediately restored their mystique.
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Did Curry plan all this? Who knows. Maybe he was just giddy about his new clear vision and wanted to share it with someone. Curry is smart, though, and knows how this press thing works. I don’t think it was an accident this news came out when it did.
NBA Finals pushes are hard. They’re exhausting. The Warriors have made them for years now, and for a team looking for a spark heading back into another grind, Curry’s vision story might be just that.