The Golden State Warriors have been one of the NBA's worst franchises over the past 20 years, making the playoffs only twice and generally seeming to go out of their way to disappoint and alienate their fans (including me). While that playoff-less run proves the point best, the franchise can also boast not having a player selected to the All-Star team since Latrell Sprewell made the squad in 1997. Somehow, it seems fitting that Sprewell left the team in disgrace the next season.
So far this season, though, the Warriors have reason to be optimistic. Just over a quarter into the season, the team sits at 14-7, good enough for fifth-best in the West, despite having played 12 games on the road and having ostensible linchpin Andrew Bogut for only 73 total minutes of play. Much of the reason for that has been the sterling play of two players who now find themselves mentioned as potential All-Stars: power forward David Lee and point guard Stephen Curry.
The highlight video above shows why Curry could find himself playing in Houston with the league's stars this February. In Monday night's 104-96 win over the Bobcats in Charlotte, Curry was great, notching 27 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. But it wasn't only the numbers — Curry also faked and deked the opposition in the kind of stylish way that gets fans' attention. Even with a crowded field of worthy guards in the West and new rules for selecting frontcourt players, these are the kinds of plays that help a candidate stand out.
Coupled with the team's record — which, by the way, is way more important — an All-Star selection could get more Warriors fans to feel like this team is heading in the right direction. Things aren't perfect by any means, and record-based All-Star selections contain enough logical fallacies to keep basketball pseudo-philosophers working for decades. But no amount of argumentation can change the fact that it's fun to see a guy representing your team in something other than the Rookie Game. If the Warriors' record holds, and Curry and/or Lee keeps this up, they should see their loyalty rewarded in a small way.
(Video via SLAM)