How Steph Curry, Mark McGwire transcended games with warm-up routines

Ali Thanawalla
NBC Sports BayArea

The two-ball drills. The trick shots. The half-court heaves.

Steph Curry's pregame routine has been a spectacle for the last few years.

Fans would flock to Oracle Arena, and now Chase Center, 90 minutes before the Warriors would tip off their games to watch Curry's dazzling display.

Even on the road, thousands of fans would file into the arena early to get a rare glimpse of the Warriors superstar.

But long before Curry, there was Mark McGwire, the former Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinals star.

During the 1998 season, when McGwire and Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa broken Roger Maris' single-season home run record, fans packed Busch Stadium in St. Louis to watch Big Mac take batting practice.

"Batting practice was a show," Cardinals groundskeeper Tom Forneris said Sunday during ESPN's "Long Gone Summer" documentary. "I mean, he would hit bombs, one after another.

"People would just go crazy. They brought their gloves. They were ready to catch them. You'd have 5,000 people at batting practice, just to see him hit."

That description sounds eerily familiar to what happened with Curry over the last few years, minus the gloves, of course.

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Fans showed up early just to watch Curry dribble and make half-court shots with no one defending him. Fans showed up long before a three-hour baseball games to watch McGwire hit 60 MPH fastballs over the wall.

Even Utah Jazz star Karl Malone wanted to watch McGwire's pregame show.

That just speaks to the star McGwire was, and Curry is. Their talent transcended the actual games. Fans wanted to see them put in the work. They both had an uncanny ability to mesmerize fans before the bright lights turned on.

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How Steph Curry, Mark McGwire transcended games with warm-up routines originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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