Vision Problems Irked Rudy Gay Last Season
A weird yet entirely plausible explanation for (Rudy Gay’s) subpar shooting numbers came up after Toronto’s season ended, when Bruce Arthur of the National Post reported that Gay “has required contact lenses for years, but has refused to wear them, and could not get comfortable with goggles this season.” This seemed like kind of a big deal, considering the accurate throwing of a ball through a metal ring represents a pretty big part of Gay’s job description; four days after Arthur’s report, the Raptors announced that Gay had undergone a procedure “to correct vision in his left eye.
During a workout at his alma mater, Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Md., Gay spoke with SLAM’s Adam Figman about just how bad the issues were, among other things:
“I did have vision problems,” Gay confesses, sitting up on the trainer’s table after Gray finishes stretching out his muscles. “Actually, it was terrible. I could hardly get my license.” The National Post reported that he refused to wear the contact lenses he desperately needed, which was correct: “I have a stigma about that stuff — I can’t put anything up my nose and I can’t touch my eyes. I think that just comes from me growing up seeing people on drugs — I got over my stigma of needles, but I couldn’t do any of that other stuff. I couldn’t wear contacts. I wore glasses, sometimes.”
Gay finally had the operation to clear up his sight early this summer. “It wasn’t even a regular operation,” he explains. “It was some kind of crazy operation that took a lot more time to heal than I thought. It sucked. They had to patch it up [after], and I had to take eye drops, all stuff that I hated. But I had to do it. It’s crazy because as much work as I’m putting in working on my shot, if I come back shooting [a better] percent from the three-point line, everybody’s gonna say it’s ’cause of my vision, not the hard work I’m putting in.”