Matt Bonner says tennis elbow caused by iPhone led to poor shooting

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

As a 3-point specialist for the San Antonio Spurs, Matt Bonner has been known to be dialed in from long distance. But the veteran swingman says his phone might have been the root cause of an off shooting season.

Bonner shot just 36.5 percent from long range this past season -- the second-lowest mark in his 11 years in the NBA. His career 3-point shooting percentage is 41.4 percent.

Speaking to the Concord Monitor in his native New Hampshire last week, Bonner said his off season may have been due to tennis elbow he developed in his non-shooting arm.

"I hate to make excuses, I was raised to never make excuses, but I went through a two-and-a-half-month stretch where I had really bad tennis elbow," Bonner told the newspaper, "and during that stretch it 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.'"

The reason for Bonner's lingering pain? Well, it's laughable even to him.

"Everybody is going to find this hilarious, but here's my theory on how I got it," Bonner 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."

Despite the down year, Bonner, a free agent, says he still can produce at 35 years old.

"I really don't want to say that's why my percentage dipped, but I'm not too worried about it,"Bonner said. "I know I can still shoot."

The longest-tenured member of the Spurs outside of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, Bonner expressed a desire to remain with the team, but he'll field calls from other suitors in unrestricted free agency.

"I hope to be back," Bonner told the San Antonio Express-News. "I love playing for the Spurs. I love everything about the organization and everybody in the organization: players, coaches, staff members. I hope they will all be back for next year."'s Michael C. Wright contributed to this report

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