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Already choked up after watching the big announcement of NBA All-Star Game starters on television, former NBA player Dell Curry wasn't ready for his phone to suddenly start ringing. It was his son, Stephen Curry, who just moments earlier was not only named an All-Star for the first time, but a starter, too.
"I was in New York sitting in my hotel room just wondering what was going to happen," Dell Curry said while reminiscing about that Jan. 23 announcement. "To see my son's name come up in the starting lineup and to see how many votes he got was a big deal. Yeah, I was happy.
"He caught me right after everyone found out. He shouldn't have hit me yet. A couple more minutes would have helped."
Dell will have several more memorable moments to enjoy for Stephen, his other son Seth and even himself when the Curry men take part in NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.
Stephen will be representing the Golden State Warriors as a Western Conference starter during Sunday's All-Star Game. He will also participate in the 3-point competition and in the Shooting Stars competition with his father and WNBA player Becky Hammon on Saturday night. Rookie guard Seth Curry will represent the Santa Cruz Warriors in the D-League All-Star Game on Saturday afternoon.
"It's a big experience for all of us," Dell said.
Dell's wife, Sonya, Stephen's wife, Ayesha, and several other family members will be on hand to cheer on the Curry men.
"It will be feast for them," said Seth, who also played with the Memphis Grizzlies this season. "A lot of fun. They will get to see both of us play in the same city. It will be good to see each other. We haven't been around each other as full family since this summer."
Stephen, in his fifth NBA season, is headed to his first All-Star game after receiving 1,047,281 votes – second only to Kevin Durant in the Western Conference. Stephen landed only 169,083 votes last year, but his scoring prowess in the Warriors' two-round playoff run last season and his All-Star-caliber play this season skyrocketed his popularity. He was the first Warriors player to lead his position in West All-Star voting since Rick Barry in 1976.
"It's crazy how much it's changed in a year," said Stephen, fifth in the league with 24.6 points per game. "I'm definitely blessed to have fans vote you in. It means your team is making strides to being relevant every single year, especially in this tough Western Conference."
The individual highlight of Dell's 16-year NBA career was being named the 1994 NBA Sixth Man of the Year. The only involvement he ever had in All-Star Weekend was participating in the 3-point contest twice.
"I know how special it is, how hard it is, how well he has to play, how tough it is to play well every night and be consistent," said Dell, now a television analyst for the Charlotte Bobcats.
So what did Dell teach his sons about shooting?
"I was taught when I was growing up that when you're shooting from right outside the paint or from 30 feet, your form has got to look the same," Stephen said. "That is how you create consistency. Obviously, percentages are going to change when you move out. But just as long as that form stays the same, when you're in rhythm it will feel pretty natural. Wherever you are on the floor, find the rim, shoot it and find confidence."
Said Seth: "One thing he taught us is whatever you choose to do you got to put in the time and work at it every single day. When we were growing up we saw him go to practice and put in the time to exercise after practice. We just learned some of his habits practice-wise and applied it to ourselves."
So who is the best shooter of the Curry men?
Seth said it is currently his dad since he beat Stephen in a shooting competition at a Warriors basketball camp last summer. Stephen, however, has said he let his dad win.
"[Stephen] didn't let me win. He never lets me win," Dell said.
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