NEW YORK – Teammates marvel, opponents get rapturous, fans are captivated and sponsors are swooning.
He has his own signature shoe, his own shooting style, his own fashion sense and, as of this week, his own celebrity spokesman.
The world within and beyond the NBA has fallen hard for Stephen Curry. The Warriors point guard is a superstar. He has arrived.
Or has he?
Curry may be the Prince of All-Star Weekend, granted an all-access pass to anything he desires, but there is one velvet rope he can't seem to jump.
NBA officials have yet to bestow upon Curry star status, which assures respect, if not protection. He is not yet getting the whistles of privilege accorded to the likes of James Harden and Chris Paul and Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
"I haven't gotten a lot of calls, but I don't expect them to come," Curry says. "If you go into the game expecting to get foul calls from the refs, then that's going to influence your game and you're at a disadvantage. You have to find a way to do it yourself.
"I get frustrated sometimes, though, because it's annoying. But I find if I get frustrated to a point where it distracts from what we're trying to do as a team, that's where I'm doing us a disservice."
It's not that Curry avoids contact. At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, he's the primary ball-handler for the Warriors, frequently venturing into the thicket of bodies in the paint to loft floaters off the glass or feathery scoops. It's not uncommon for him to get knocked to the ground, sometimes in front of an official, without a whistle.
Damian Lillard or Lou Williams or Jeff Teague all have shot more free throws this season than Curry. Clippers supersub Jamal Crawford, who specializes in the long-distance jump shot, has gone to the line 229 times – exactly the same as Curry.
None of the aforementioned, however, has Curry's cachet. He led all players, including James, in fan votes for the All-Star Game. Entertainer Jamie Foxx is now on board as a Curry mouthpiece, just as Spike Lee once was for Michael Jordan.
And we all know Jordan could get away with almost anything on offense, while defenders might get whistled for standing too close to His Airness.
Curry is used to the non-calls. His former coach, Mark Jackson, saw it and coped with it. His current coach, Steve Kerr, has noticed it, too.
"Guys try to get their hands on him, try to be physical with him, particularly away from the ball," Kerr observes. "On the ball, it's very easy to see and the refs are taught to call it. But what I see is when he gives up the ball and he's cutting through the lane, a lot of holding and grabbing. It makes sense. That's how I would try to guard him too."
Though Curry will look for the call when he believes it should be made, he says he won't resort to whining or working the refs. It's not the way he raised, if you listen to his father.
"I think he's gotten a better whistle than in previous years," Dell Curry says. "It's all in the game. But I don't think it's something he's overly concerned about.
"But you don't want to get in that complain mode, because then it's going to get worse. Just continue to play. It'll get worked out."
Maybe. But there is no sign of it so far.
"People try to get physical, try to take my strengths away, take my freedom of movement away, so that they can stay as connected as possible, whether it's grabbing or holding or something else," Curry says. "Some guys are subtle with it, and some guys are over the top with it.
"They don't want to give me an inch. If it gets way over the top, you hope the refs make the adjustment, but you can't go in expecting that because then you'll be off your game and they'll win."
With Curry, it's winning what matters. His popularity has not inflated his understated character. If he never gets another whistle but the Warriors win a championship, he'd take it in a heartbeat.
Battered and bruised maybe, but it'll be worth it.