clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Matt Bonner says he got tennis elbow from his iPhone 6

Let's learn about RSIs!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Any article featuring Matt Bonner quotes is probably a good article, so I clicked the one by Tim O'Sullivan in the Concord Monitor that got passed around on Twitter on Monday, with an "exclusive" teaser tagged to it, hoping for something amusing.

I wasn't disappointed: Bonner told O'Sullivan both that he thinks tennis elbow in his non-shooting arm is partially to blame for his three-point shooting dipping in 2014-15 — and that the thinks the injury is related to getting an iPhone 6 last fall.

He also knows, or at least thinks he knows, how he got the injury.

"Everybody is going to find this hilarious, but here’s my theory on how I got it," he said. "When the new iPhone came out it was way bigger than the last one, and I think because I got that new phone it was a strain to use it, you have to stretch further to hit the buttons, and I honestly think that’s how I ended up developing it."

Before you start laughing (or at least when you finish), know that this is not unprecedented. Bonner said he spoke with one of the Spurs’ strength and conditioning coaches about the injury and the coach reported that he had suffered a similar injury after spending too much time playing a game on his phone.

Bonner, who says he "hates to make excuses" for poor play, and says the injury "made it so painful for me to shoot I'd almost be cringing before I even caught the ball like, ‘Oh, this is going to kill.'" Bonner's three-point shooting clip dropped to 36.5 percent, his lowest mark since 2007-08, but it kept in line with his career 41.4 percent mark in the stretches of the season that bookended his injury, according to O'Sullivan.

And while this is amusing, and could just be Bonner having a little fun, tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury (RSI), and those can be brought on by any number of activities. There's actually a term, "gamer's thumb," for RSIs incurred by playing games, and though they're typically not the kinds that you would find on an iPhone, as someone whose thumb has been a little sore in recent days thanks to an addiction I have to a very simple iPhone game, I buy Bonner's tale on this one. Having to adjust to a new device in one's hands and holding it closer or further from one's face is, simple though that sounds, a process that requires some adjustments.

Bonner is a free agent this summer, but has spent his last nine NBA seasons with the Spurs, appearing in 56 games or more in each campaign, and he tells O'Sullivan "I'm hoping to be back with the Spurs," but the native New Hampshrite is also not ruling out the possibility of playing for the regional favorite Boston Celtics should things fall through with San Antonio. Bonner played for the minimum salary last year in San Antonio, though, so it's not like the Spurs can't afford him.

But the really exciting news of the piece is that Bonner spent time at Syracuse's excellent broadcasting school for its Sportscaster U camp, and may be angling for a job in sports broadcasting at the conclusion of his playing career.

I would, yes, be down for the Red Mamba doing color commentary.