Times Standard (Eureka)

Curry earns his ninth nod as a starter for ASG

- By Madeline Kenney

Stephen Curry will be heading to Salt Lake City next month for the NBA All-Star Game.

Shaquille O’Neal got the honor of introducin­g the Warriors star as an All-Star starter during TNT’s broadcast Thursday evening.

“My favorite player in the world, Stephen Curry,” O’Neal said.

Surely plenty of Bay Area fans would agree.

This will be Curry’s ninth AllStar start in his 14-year NBA career. He surpassed Hall of Famer Rick Barry for the second-most All-Star selections in franchise history and now sits behind only Paul Arizin, who made 10 AllStar appearance­s over the course of his Hall of Fame career.

Curry has been part of AllStar Weekend festivitie­s in 10 of his previous 11 seasons, winning the 3-point contest two of his seven tries. He played in six consecutiv­e All-Star Games from 2014 through 2019 before a fractured hand limited him to only five games during the forgettabl­e 2019-20 campaign. He would return to the All-Star Game in each of the following three seasons, including this one.

Curry put on a show last year in Cleveland, pouring in 50 points and making a record 16 3-pointers in a flashy showing that earned him the Most Valuable Player award for the game.

While the Warriors have hovered around .500 for most of the season, Curry, who will turn 35 in March, has been a bright spot for the reigning champs. He’s averaged 29.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 33 games this season while shooting 48.7% from the field and 42% from deep. Curry has also knocked down the third-most 3s in the

league this season (161), despite missing 11 games due to a partially dislocated left shoulder.

Other Western Conference starters include: Mavericks star Luka Doncic, Lakers star LeBron James, Nuggets big man and twotime reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and Pelicans star Zion Williamson.

This will be James 19th All-Star selection, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in league history. James will captain the west.

Meanwhile, Bucks star Giannis Antetokoun­mpo, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell and Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were named as the Eastern Conference starters.

Antetokoun­mpo will serve as the other captain.

Fan vote accounts for half of the final vote for All-Star starters. The other half is split between media and fellow players. Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green finished in eighth and ninth place, respective­ly,

Western Conference frontcourt standings. Klay Thompson ranked 10th among Western Conference guards.

Their All-Star fate will be in the hands of the NBA head coaches, who will pick the reserves. Those choices will be unveiled Feb. 2.

Wiggins made his AllStar debut as a starter last season, and Green is looking to make his fifth career All-Star appearance. Thompson has been named an All-Star five times before but hasn’t been back since the 2018-19 season. AGUILAR REACHES $3M, ONEYEAR DEAL WITH A’S >> The Oakland Athletics and slugger Jesús Aguilar agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract Friday.

The 32-year-old Aguilar batted .235 with 16 homers, 51 RBIs and a .661 OPS in 129 games for the Marlins and Orioles last season. He was leading the Marlins with 15 homers and 49 RBIs but was hitting only .236 when they released him in late August after falling out of NL wild-card contention.

Oakland general manager David Forst expects Aguilar to split time between first and DH while playing every day.

 ?? NHAT V. MEYER — BAY AREA NEWS GROUP ?? Warriors guard Stephen Curry is averaging 29.3points per game in another All-Star season.
NHAT V. MEYER — BAY AREA NEWS GROUP Warriors guard Stephen Curry is averaging 29.3points per game in another All-Star season.

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