Curry savors rise from depths to MVP candidate

Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:55pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It has been a long climb for Stephen Curry from a frustrating rookie season with the Golden State Warriors to top-vote getter for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.

The sweet-shooting guard from Davidson College suffered through a 26-56 season with the Warriors after being the seventh pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, but comes to Madison Square Garden as the floor leader of the NBA's top team at 42-9.

"I had very high expectations, a dream," the 6-foot-3 (1.90m) Curry said after Saturday's practice with the East All-Stars. "You never know how it's going to unfold, and take place. That's the fun part about the journey.

"And I'm still not anywhere near what I want to achieve. That's what keeps me hungry and driven to keep going."

Curry has averaged 23.6 points, 7.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds and a league-leading 2.2 steals for the high-flying Warriors and received 42,000 more votes than LeBron James as top All-Star vote-getter.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who is directing the All-Star West team, said Curry deserves frontline consideration as the league's most valuable player.

"Steph is definitely one of the leading candidates," said Kerr. "He's great at both ends. His defense is underrated, he's been really good defensively.

"He's obviously an amazing shooter, but it's not just the shots. The penetration, the ball handling, the constant threat that he poses opens other things up for his teammates. He's a phenomenal player."   Continued...

Feb 11, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) looks on during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports