Stephen Curry: The Evolution Of An NBA All-Star

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Friday, February 14, 2014 with No comments
Written By Clevis Murray

Being labeled as an NBA "All-Star Game Snub" isn't an attractive way to be described and thus that label was applied to rising star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Last NBA season, Curry's Warriors teammate David Lee was named and All-Star while Curry was left off of the team which drew the ire of most NBA fans. It was difficult being vying for an All-Star berth while being a point guard in the NBA's Western Conference last season with the likes of Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook all playing terrific and being established stars but Curry was determined to break through the glass ceiling.  Sadly the NBA All-Star teams can only have 12 players compared to the other major sports leagues as in the MLB, NFL & NHL who have multiple spots for the players that deserve the honor and distinction of being named an All-Star.  Curry had a tremendous regular season and most noticeably scored 54 points at Madison Square Garden and eclipsed Ray Allen's single season 3-point record by making 272 but "Steph" wasn't done.  With work still left to be done, Curry's stellar play helped the Warriors clinch their first playoff berth since 2007.

Despite not being named to the actual All-Star game last season, Curry did make an appearance during past All-Star Weekends as he was invited to play in the Rookie-Sophomore game during the 2010 All-Star weekend, he ended the game with 14 points. The young guard was also a participant in the 3-point contest and made it all the way to the finals but lost to Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce. Curry made another appearance during All-Star weekend in 2011 for the Rookie-Sophomore game in which he ended with 13 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds and also competed in the Taco Bell skills challenge in which he beat Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook with a time of 28.2 seconds in the Finals.

Birthright 

Stephen Curry experienced the NBA lifestyle periodically while growing up by way of his father Dell Curry who played 16 seasons in the league.  Despite playing with five different teams the elder Curry was most noticeably known for his tenure with the Charlotte Hornets and won a Sixth Man of the Year award there. During his 10 seasons in Charlotte scored 9,839 which still stands as record for most point scored in the franchise despite that franchises history being that of the New Orleans Pelicans at this point time.  Despite his accomplishments, there's still a couple of things that were missing from his admirable NBA career.....an NBA All-Star selection and an NBA Championship. 


Stephen Curry was a High School basketball player but didn't receive a scholarship from a big name basketball school.  Originally Dell Curry wanted Steph to attend his alma-matter Virginia Tech and is in their Hall of Fame but the Hoskies didn't offer him a scholarship and only a spot on the roster as a walk-on player.  Curry attended Davidson College, a school that hasn't won a NCAA Tournament game since 1969. Curry led Davidson to their first first tournament win on March 21, 2008 with a 82-76 win over Gonzaga with a 40-point effort. Their next opponent was 2nd seed Georgetown and surprisingly enough Curry with 25 points led Davidson to a 74-70 shocker over the favorite Georgetown. Fast forward and Steph had a great college career which lasted three seasons averaging 25.3 points and setting numerous records.

On April 23, 2009 another Curry was heading to the NBA as Stephen Curry declared he was going pro and forgoing his senior season at Davidson College. Curry was being compared to Mike Bibby, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and a Point Guard version of Ray Allen. Curry was drafted by the Golden State Warriors with their 7th pick in the 2009 Draft. Steph had a very good rookie year finishing second in rookie of the year voting behind Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans.



Steph's sophomore season was good but he finally faced adversity in his third season in the lockout shortened season and became plagued with ankle injuries which made him play in 26 of the 66 games that season. During that season many believed the ankle injuries were going to affect Curry for his entire career because his ankle was being injured too often during the season, he had season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle in April of 2012. His injury plagued season ended with season averages of 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.5 steals and shot 45.5% from 3 point range. Golden State would end the season with a 23-43 record and miss the playoffs.

A Father's Son 

The 2012-2013 was the season of Curry and the Warriors as their season was tremendous and the evolution of Klay Thompson was known. The duo combined for 483 3-pointers which is the most by two players in NBA history. He led the team to the playoffs but would eventually lose to the eventual Western Conference champions in the San Antonio Spurs.


This season the popularity of Stephen Curry had risen to the point where he led all guards in All-Star votes and was finally named a starter for the mid-season classic with season averages of 23.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 9.2 assists, 1.9 steals, 44% FG and 39% from the 3-point line.  The fans have given Curry the respect he deserves as a player because he is putting up great stats and winning at the same time and like Paul George he is becoming one of the most marketable young players in the NBA.  Ironically, Curry and George were named as captains of the Western & Eastern Conference teams that will compete in the various skills competitions (Skills Challenge, Shooting Stars Competition, 3 Point Shootout, Slam Dunk Contest) during the NBA's All-Star Saturday Night.  Despite being the first Warriors player to start the All-Star game since Latrell Sprewell in 1995, Curry will also enjoy another high during the All-Star Weekend.....participating in the Shooting Stars Competition with his father Dell.

He is now also one of the league leaders in jersey sales.  Fans love Curry for his 3-point shooting, the shots he takes and makes and his great ball-handling skills. Curry making the 3-point shot beautiful. But he has evolved into a more all-around player according to David Lee stating

"A lot of people last year said, ‘Oh, he’s a guy who just shoots threes and has made a ton of threes.’ But he’s a guy, who has gotten so much better at finishing in the paint; his assist numbers have gone way up; defensively, he’s stepped up his game; and he’s been a great leader for us. To me, a bigger part that’s not even talked about is how good of a teammate and person he is. I’m not naming any names, but I wish all of the superstars in the league were as good of guys as Steph. I think he represents our game the proper way and does things the right way." 

Curry spent his first two summers by rehabbing his right ankle and finally had a summer to improve his game and it is on full display.

In a league which was once dominated by bigs, Curry is now one of the leaders in the golden age of Point Guards with his 6'3" 185-pound frame. Curry may look like a baby face but his skills make him a bad bad man and 4x league MVP LeBron James has noticed the young guard calling him

"One of the best shooters this NBA will see" and saying "If you can find a better shooter than him right now, especially with the way he handles the ball and the light that he has, it's more than green, it's fluorescent you just hope that he misses."

Steph has changed the culture in Golden State with consistent winning and most recently led the team on a 10-game winning streak which was the longest streak for the franchise in over three decades.  Curry is even talking like an All-Star crediting the fans & team

"It's definitely a blessing to have fans and people that notice what we're trying to do here at the Warriors organization, changing the culture and winning consistently and being in that conversation where you have guys that can get that kind of attention."

February 16th of 2014 will mark the beginning of the validity of being an NBA All-Star starter for Stephen Curry, a role that he was born for, one that he was destined to embrace, simply put the fans of the NBA said a collective yes. 


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