At a certain point during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Stephen Curry changed—not just his game, but his appearance. Later, he revealed the mysterious turn had a lot to do with one of his idols, Allen Iverson.
After entering the third consecutive championship series against the Cleveland Cavaliers rocking a shooting sleeve for what feels like the first time in his career, it disappeared. And so too, perhaps, did some early-series jitters.
Curry missed his first two shots with it on, then did away with it.
Whether or not it was actually affecting him, it’s hard to argue with the numbers.
Curry with arm sleeve: 0-2 FG
Curry without arm sleeve: 11-20 FG, 6-9 3PT
The Warriors outscored the Cavs by 22 after Steph took it off 👀
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 2, 2017
So why the curious decision to change up his look in the biggest game of the season?
His answer: The Answer.
Allen Iverson, that is.
“Low key, I’ve always wanted to be like Allen Iverson,” the Golden State Warriors star said after the 113-91 victory. “That was the only way that I could really come close, but it just wasn’t feeling right, just kind of a split decision, just whatever. Success, reason, it don’t really matter. Just keep playing.”
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) June 2, 2017
Good thing he took the sleeve off then, lest he give Cavs coach Tyronn Lue any Game 1 flashbacks.