While Stephen Curry eventually took off the shooting sleeve he was wearing at the start of Thursday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals, he apparently drew inspiration from an all-time great of the recent past.
"Low-key, I've always wanted to be like Allen Iverson," Curry said, per Anthony Slater of the Mercury News. "But it just wasn't feeling right."
Keen NBA historians will recognize a link between Iverson and Curry's NBA Finals opponent. Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers when Iverson famously stepped over him after drilling a critical shot on his way to 48 points in the Philadelphia 76ers' Game 1 win in the 2001 NBA Finals.
It is a good thing for the Warriors that Curry decided to stop emulating Iverson and take the sleeve off. He finished with 28 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 from three-point range.
Sports Illustrated shared the dramatic difference after he shed the shooting sleeve, although Curry was working with a notably small sample size in the early going:
He was one of only two Warriors to score in double figures, but they still cruised to a 113-91 victory at Oracle Arena. The defense forced 20 Cavaliers turnovers, and Kevin Durant led the way on the offensive side with 38 points for Golden State.
If Durant continues to dominate and Curry shoots like he did after getting rid of the sleeve, the Warriors will win their second Larry O'Brien Trophy in three years.