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Zero Dark #30: Why Stephen Curry unplugs for the playoffs

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It has nothing to do with that guy in Cleveland.

Taco Bell Skills Challenge 2016
E.T. phone home.
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The entire world knows LeBron James unplugs from social media during the playoffs, thanks to his need to announce his every decision.

But did you know Stephen Curry also unplugs for the playoffs?

In an interview with ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Curry said he adopted the practice to avoid “unnecessary distractions.” You know, every media member and fan analyzing his every move, critiquing the slightest mistake or hyping the greatest achievement?

“When you’re really trying to zone in and keep your focus, you don’t want to have any unnecessary distractions during this point of the season,” Curry said. “We have goals to accomplish, and you want to make sure you’re giving your all.”

No matter how mentally disciplined one might be, criticism and praise can sway emotions towards the extremes, and in direct opposition to the quintessential athlete motto: Don’t get too high or too low. If a player reads accolades, he puts himself at risk of buying into his own hype and potentially becoming cocky or complacent. If a player reads criticism, he risks taking on a desperation mindset borne of the desire (conscious or not) to prove the haters wrong.

So, hooray for the two-time, reigning MVP for shielding himself from the noise. He’s a wise man, indeed.

But Curry is his own man and unplugs from social media in his own way — sending messages out but not taking any in.

Haynes noted that Curry did not tweet out his usual “Lock in #DubNation” in advance of the Warriors’ Game 2 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. But other “Lock in #DubNation” messages have appeared on his timeline during the playoffs, indicating that Curry has a helper doing the tweeting for him — unlike LeBron James, who bows out of everything entirely.

But Curry made it clear that he did not adopt this practice to copycat LeBron James, stating: “I didn’t do it because he did it. I’m not reinventing the wheel. It’s just a way to help me keep my focus on what’s important.”

Stephen Curry, via Twitter.

So, how does he do it?

“I have a way of sending out messages without getting into my accounts,” said Curry, who reported removing all social media apps from this phone. “That way, I’m not seeing or reading something I’m trying to avoid.”

With his wife, Ayesha, being a busy mother of two young daughters, with a demanding career of her own, it is unlikely that she has taken over Curry’s social media duties. Of course, there is Riley Curry — but it would be safe to assume her tweets would be ROFL hilarious.

A paid assistant?

Telepathy?

The same person who makes his preferred PB&J sandwiches — strawberry Smucker’s, creamy Skippy?

It doesn’t really matter.

All fans need to know is that Curry is not reading your social media messages, but he has been going dark on social media and gobbling PB&J sandwiches since the 2014-15 NBA Championship season.