NEW YORK -– After his first All-Star Game as the leading vote-getter among all NBA players, Stephen Curry was asked if he is becoming the face of the league.
"I hope to be," Curry said Sunday night, after the West's 163-158 victory over the East at Madison Square Garden.
Curry, under the direction of Warriors coach Steve Kerr, was on the floor at the start and at the finish, when the West pulled away. The point guard played 27 minutes, scoring 15 points, grabbing nine rebounds and recording five assists.
Curry also had five turnovers, surely a result of his pursuit of style points. And, yes, he earned a few of those.
Curry flipped a blind lob pass to 17th-year veteran Dirk Nowitzki in the second quarter that the Mavericks forward threw down -– to the surprise of many.
"We were actually joking that coach was going to write up an alley-oop play for him," Curry said. "But he needed a couple up-and-downs to get loose. When that play happened, when I threw it, I saw him at the last second. I didn't know who it was. When I made my mind to throw it up, I looked to see who it was. I'd already committed to throwing it. I just hoped he could get up there, and he did."
Nowitzki landed and struck a pose, as if shooting an arrow toward the sky, a move appreciated by the crowd of 17,198.
Curry's personal high point was an acrobatic layup that brushed high off the glass before dropping through the net, giving the West at 109-105 lead in the third quarter.
"We always joke about how I start off my workouts before games and pre-game routine with some crazy right-handed and left-handed flip shots," Curry said. "A lot of people look at me crazy when I do it. Sometimes, it comes out in situations like it did tonight. So glad I was able to make it."
Curry was 6-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-10 from 3-point distance. His poor shooting didn't seem to bother the crowd.
Then again, he knows how the people feel about him.
"It's nice that the fans are supportive and show out like that in the voting process for the All-Star Game," he said. "I never expected that. Two years ago I wasn't here, so it's pretty special."
Given his soaring popularity, Curry might as well get used to it.