OAKLAND – In only four days, Stephen Curry will return to the place that shaped his childhood and his basketball journey.
The NBA will host All-Star weekend in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C., and Curry may as well be the league’s unofficial host along with the Hornets franchise. Curry will make his sixth appearance in the NBA 3-point contest on Saturday and his sixth All-Star appearance on Sunday. On Saturday, Curry will also compete against his brother, Seth, in the 3-point contest. Before Sunday’s All-Star game, the NBA will honor Curry’s father, Dell, who played for the Charlotte Hornets (1988-1998) and currently serves as the team’s broadcaster.
“It’s going to be fun, man,” Curry said after morning shootaround on Tuesday. “I haven’t gotten my mind there yet besides my pop calling me about ticket lists. That’s getting overwhelming.”
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That’s because Curry has received ticket requests that he said has already reached the triple digits. No wonder Curry admittedly has had trouble focusing with the Warriors (40-15) entering a back-to-back on Tuesday against the Utah Jazz (32-24) at Oracle Arena and then on Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
“We can lock in on a back-to-back before everybody goes their separate ways,” Curry said. “It’s tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we have to stay locked in.”
The Warriors have still won 15 of their past 16 games. Yet, they admitted struggling with complacency in their last two games against Phoenix and Miami. First, the Warriors committed 17 turnovers and conceded 60 points in the paint against Phoenix. Then, the Warriors trailed by as many as 19 points against Miami before securing a win from Kevin Durant’s game-tying 3 and DeMarcus Cousin’s game-clinching foul shots.
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“Teams are coming at us,” Curry said. “We have to match their energy and toughness. Miami was as glaring as it gets in terms of getting outplayed. No matter what plays you call and shots you take, we got outplayed.”
The Warriors expressed optimism they will player with better energy this week, knowing that they can then enjoy a mini vacation for six days. That does not apply to Curry, Durant and Klay Thompson, who all will play in Sunday’s All-Star game. The toll might be greater for Curry, given both the number of All-Star events and community appearances he plans to make.
Therefore, Curry plans to take off for two days following All-Star weekend before the Warriors resume practice on Feb. 20.
“We have four straight months of grinding and the intensity increases every night,” Curry said. “You get to the playoffs obviously, you know how stressful that is. Just try to get away for those two days and refreshed. I know my body will be fine. It’s the …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports