This season, Elfrid Payton has maintained his strong play from the second half of 2016-17. The Orlando Magic point guard is posting career highs of 6.7 assists per game, 50.7 percent shooting, and 36.7 percent three-point shooting while notching 12.6 points per contest.
Now just think what the 23-year-old could do if he could actually see anything when fixing his eyes upward.
This disadvantages of Payton’s eye-catching hair were on full display on Monday night, when his do temporarily blinded him during a floater attempt against the Brooklyn Nets.
The shot fell about a foot and a half shy of the basket.
Elfrid Payton airballs the floater because he can’t see the rim through his hair pic.twitter.com/l9GfGG5daC
— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) January 2, 2018
Payton had an otherwise solid night, finishing with 17 points, seven dimes, two steals, and a block, but the magic fell in Brooklyn, 98-95.
Here’s why Payton rocks those inconvenient locks, according to NBA.com in 2014, soon after the Magic had drafted him:
His high school team in Gretna, La., made a vow not to cut their hair until they won the state championship back in 2011. However, those dreams ended when John Ehret High was beaten by Scotlandville in the state semifinals.
[He] has no plans of cutting his curly, high-rise hairdo anytime soon. He didn’t cut it after losing that high school game, he didn’t trim it in college and he has designs on continuing to grow it out in the NBA with the Magic.
“I kind of liked what (the hair) was doing,” Payton said with sheepish snicker. “I just let it keep growing and growing. And in the years after high school, it got higher and higher and curlier and curlier. I like it.”
That’s great, but you can’t see above your shoulders without moving your head.
Part of what makes the NBA so great is it allows for more self-expression than other professional sports leagues. But if you play a position that requires good court vision, blocking out half of it isn’t advisable.
He doesn’t even have to cut it! Just force the jutting expanse it’s grown into backward instead of among the relatively crucial space in front of his eyes.