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Warriors guard Stephen Curry steps into national spotlight

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Stephen Curry
  • Rich Pedroncelli/2013 ap file photo
  • Stephen Curry is having a stellar season, averaging 24.6 points per game, and today’s All-Star Game could be the first of many.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry will finally get his due today as he makes his first appearance in an All-Star Game in his five-year career.

Curry was widely regarded as the biggest snub in last season’s All-Star Game, a view made much more popular when he went on to set an NBA record by making 272 3-pointers by the end of the year.

He had plenty of other highlights last season, including a 54-point outing against the Knicks in New York’s venerated Madison Square Garden. His poise in leading the Warriors to the second round of the playoffs, where Golden State pushed the San Antonio Spurs to six games before losing, ultimately is what put him on the national map.

Any time he was asked about it last season, Warriors coach Mark Jackson called Curry, who will be the first Warrior to start in the All-Star Game since Latrell Sprewell in 1995, and his backcourt partner, Klay Thompson, the best guard combo in history.

All that considered, it’s tough to call this a “breakout year” for Curry, though that is typically what it takes for a player to make his first All-Star appearance, though his stats are up across the board from last year.

Curry’s tendency to drag the Warriors back from staggering deficits with a barrage of 3-pointers has already earned him MVP chants from the crowds at Oracle Arena, though the young star is still a long way removed from entering that conversation. It’s a fact not lost on Curry, who heard those chants while facing four-time MVP LeBron James and the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

“You know what [James is] about and his credentials when it comes to what he’s done in the league,” Curry said after the loss to Miami. “So far he’s a champion. I’m more worried about just trying to stop him than comparing myself to him or that kind of deal. I always look forward to the challenge of playing the best in the league and tonight demonstrated that to the fullest.”

For now, making the All-Star Game is the first step toward cementing his place in the history books.

It’s an honor not lost on Curry, who said watching the selection show was an experience he will always remember.

“It’s kind of just a surreal feeling,” he said at the time. “I saw Kobe [Bryant] come on the screen and you knew that next person on the screen was going to be me or I was going to get left off that list. Just when I saw my name it was a real emotional kind of experience and glad my wife and daughter were here to watch it with me.”

Curry’s rise may come as a surprise to Warriors fans who only a few years ago wondered if his ankles would ever hold up for a full season. He played in a combined 101 games in his second and third seasons in the league before getting back on the court for 78 games last year. He has missed only three games this season.