Golden State’s Stephen Curry seems all but a lock to make the game this year
Golden State point guard Stephen Curry was sitting in second place among Western Conference backcourt players after the most recent All-Star balloting.
That means, if he holds on, not only would he make the All-Star Game for the first time, he would be a starter. Still, with voting wrapping up Monday, Curry was taking a wait-and-see posture.
The starters will be announced Thursday, and the coaches will select the reserves Jan. 29.
“It’s kind of crazy,” said Curry, who is in his fifth NBA season. “It’s humbling. Obviously, you have to see how it plays out, but you’ve got to thank the fans and everybody who take the time out to go vote. It’s surreal. I try not to think about it too much.”
Curry entered Saturday’s game against the Pelicans averaging 23.0 points (eighth in the NBA) and 9.3 assists, which is second to the player he passed in the balloting, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul. Paul’s right shoulder was separated during a fall Jan. 3, and he is expected to be out six weeks. But he may be able to return in time for the All-Star Game, set for Feb. 16 in New Orleans, where Paul’s NBA career began.
Also injured is the leading vote-getters among front-court players, Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant, who is out with a broken fibula. Bryant, who entered the season after having knee surgery, asked fans not to vote for him because he has played in just six games this season.
On the fans’ ballot, players are split into frontcourt and backcourt in both conferences, instead of by position as in previous years. Those who land the first two spots will be starters.
Curry had a strong season in 2012-13, breaking the NBA record for 3-pointers made as the Warriors reached the playoffs for the first time in six years. He was not selected as an All-Star; Golden State power forward David Lee was picked.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson, a former NBA point guard, promised drastic action in protest if Curry were passed over this time.
“If he’s not picked, I’ll resign,” Jackson said.
The Warriors again are winning, posting the second-best record in the Pacific Division and sixth-best in the West. Curry said that’s the gratifying part about the All-Star selection process, which can be nerve-wracking.
“It’s definitely a blessing to have fans and people who know what we’re trying to do here with the Warriors organization,” he said. “We’re changing the culture and winning consistently, and being in that (All-Star) conversation, to get that kind of attention …
“I know it’s not just me who was able to turn things around. So you credit (Jackson), you credit every single one of my teammates, because if you don’t win as a group, nobody is going to get any love, and that’s what it’s all about. So it’s definitely very humbling.”
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James was the leading vote-getter in the most-recent balloting, and he and Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George manned the Eastern Conference’s top two frontcourt spots. New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was third and Pacers center Roy Hibbert fourth. Miami shooting guard Dwyane Wade and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving led the backcourt voting.
In the West, Oklahoma City small forward Kevin Durant, the conference’s leading vote-getter, and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard were one-two in the frontcourt voting, with Clippers power forward Blake Griffin third. Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis was seventh among West frontcourt players.