It’s hard to determine when Stephen Curry left cult status for national superduperstardom -- people like to say it was his 54-point night in Madison Square Garden, but that feeds into New York’s vanity that “It ain’t been done ‘til it’s been done here.” New York -- the place that cares about the disappointing-at-best-horrifying-at-worst Knickerbockers.
But Wednesday night reminded us in the Bay Area that he isn’t just ours any more, and at some point that’s going to make him somehow less cool through no fault of his own, because insular snot is what we do.
But the fact is the Warriors, traditionally one of the suckiest road draws in the NBA for a series of excellent to irrefutable reasons, have sold out 16 of their 22 road games, are averaging 94.9 percent of capacity on the road (fourth in the league behind LeBron James, Derrick Rose and John Wall), and their two worst draws of the year, in Minneapolis (10,296, smallest of the year on a 22-degree night against the world’s worst team), and Detroit (12,737 against a team that has sold out five times in four years and none at all in the last 95 games).
Atlanta Friday night would have been a test of Curry’s popularity, but the Hawks are Warriors East and people on the ground say it’s the hardest non-college football ticket the town has seen in years. New York announces sellouts all the time, even if they don’t, so the next time there will be significant numbers of empty seats for Curry will be Monday in Philadelphia, where the 76ers are typically 76eriffic both in results and repellence.
In fact, the Sixers game is the second of a three-games-in-four-days comedy fest that has New York on the front end and Minnesota on the back –- three teams that have between them nine fewer wins than Golden State. The Warriors, who already have won 12 games by 20 points or more and two by 40-plus, ought to get fat against these three underlings, who have lost 27 by 20 or more.
So enjoy the Hawks Friday, because the bullet train to Suckville follows and you won’t see a game worth caring about until Feb. 20. Unless you just watch for Curry, in which case live it up.
Thanks to the exciting world of marketing, you’ll get more Curry than you can stand (as hard as that is to believe) soon enough.