The Norman Transcript

National Sports

May 5, 2013

Curry catching fire, fans

OAKLAND, Calif. — Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pokes fun at questions from reporters all the time and can be easily irritated and annoyed, especially after losses, which is what made his reaction to Stephen Curry sinking seven 3-pointers in Golden State’s 116-106 win over San Antonio last month such a rare scene.

“It’s actually fun to watch,” Popovich said following the game in Oakland on April 15, when he rested most of his starters. “Everybody hates losing, but I enjoyed watching a talented kid perform the way he did, and he does it with class.”

Curry can captivate almost any audience in a way almost nobody else can.

Curry’s connection to the crowd at ear-splitting Oracle Arena has been must-see TV in the NBA playoffs, leading the Warriors to the second round against the Spurs starting Monday night in San Antonio. Hall of Famers and celebrities tweet about his games. Even opponents marvel at his record-breaking shooting stroke.

If his stardom continues to rise, the Warriors hope Curry can also make a franchise that has remained remarkably popular in the Bay Area an appealing place for marquee free agents around the country.

“I think the way he plays, the type of person he is, it’s very, very attractive to other people,” said Warriors guard Jarrett Jack, who will be a free agent this summer. “He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. Overall, one of the best people I’ve ever known. Playing with him and watching him is just fun, man. Who doesn’t want to have fun?”

What makes Curry so compelling might be the simplest of basketball skills: shooting.

Most people can’t dunk like Miami’s LeBron James, run as fast as Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook or elevate the way Clippers forward Blake Griffin does. But anybody can shoot — or at least attempt to shoot — in a game long dominated by big men and played by some of the world’s greatest athletes.

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