LASIK Giving NBA Players an Edge

Last Updated August 29, 2022

Do NBA Players Get LASIK?

NBA Players get LASIK surgery to improve their vision and help them operate at peak performance while they are on the court. NBA players such as Chris Paul, Lebron James, Andre Drummond, and many others have all undergone LASIK surgery to help them dominate the court. Vision is essential to basketball player performance, so naturally, LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures are part of an elite athlete’s arsenal. Just ask Chris Paul. He underwent LASIK in 2016 and went on to lead the league in free throw percentage. Eye-hand coordination is limited by poor vision. So, the better an athlete can see, the better he or she performs. Here we take a closer look at the vision demands of basketball players.

Consider the lightning-fast reflexes required of an NBA point guard to coordinate the team’s offense and get the ball where it needs to be to score.  For the shooting guard, the margin of error is determined by his ability to get a 9 ½ inch diameter ball into the 18-inch diameter of the hoop.  Superior ball-handling skills rely heavily on vision for the rapid-fire passing to move the ball efficiently down the court under pressure from the shot clock. 

Basketball players use their eyes constantly to calculate depth, distance, and rapidly moving players – all requiring quick assessments for risk and reward. Frankly, a player’s eyes are just as important as their hands when it comes to scoring and winning. 

The pressure to perform is one of the reasons athletes choose laser vision correction, like LASIK, and in the high-contact situations of elite basketball, eyeglasses aren’t up to the job.  Glasses, and even goggles, can get in the way, limit peripheral vision, and be a potential hazard in any sport.

Which NBA Players got LASIK for vision correction?

Chris Paul isn’t the only player to choose LASIK. Cleveland Cavalier center Andre Drummond decided to have LASIK eye surgery to correct his vision before heading into the shortened 2020-2021 NBA season.  So did Tyrese Haliburton. They join Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Henry and, of course, LA Lakers’ superstar LeBron James, both of whom have had laser vision correction in the past to support the excellent vision needed to dominate the court. 

While professional athletes may face specific challenges, many amateurs, enthusiasts, and fans complain of similar problems with their prescription lenses while playing sports and being active.

The Athlete’s Decision Process is Just Like Ours

Whether an elite athlete or a mere mortal, the process for considering an elective laser vision correction procedure is pretty standard:

It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned pro, enjoy a weekly pick-up game, or are just a fan watching on TV,  if you are considering laser vision correction the first step is to make an appointment with an eye doctor.

Refractive Surgery Council (RSC) Editorial Advisory Board is comprised of some of the world’s leading refractive surgeons, greatest thought-leaders, and innovators who review and approve our articles, as well as identify and interpret the latest findings in the field of refractive surgery. The RSC Verified Seal represents our promise that every word we share represents the highest standards in the field of refractive surgery. Ophthalmologists with the Refractive Surgery Council Verified seal on their website feature the type of information you need to make a confident, informed decision about your vision correction options.

Published December 22, 2020