NEW ORLEANS -- Kevin Durant, the MVP candidate, had to check himself on Friday, had to pull himself away from discussing his admiration of Stephen Curry.
"I got Mr. Curry, the best shooter ever," Durant said when asked about his choice to win the 3-point shootout on All-Star Weekend Saturday.
Durant later indicated his session with the global media had become dominated by conversation about the cherubic Warriors point guard. Indeed, it often seemed as if KD was the face and voice of a Curry infomercial.
Then again, that was not uncommon as the NBA's best gathered in a hotel ballroom for an All-Star Weekend news conference. Topics wandered all over the place -- think Super Bowl media day -- but none was hotter than Curry, making his first appearance in the game.
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Dwyane Wade, respected veteran and owner of three championship rings, practically soaked in his adulation of Curry. The Heat star could not stop gushing about the player who received more votes than any other guard in the league.
"Everyone knows he should have been here last year; there's no secret about that," Wade said. "That was one of the biggest snubs in All-Star Game history. But you also knew his time was going to come. You also know that to be voted in, to get that many votes, that says a lot about Steph Curry -- what people have come to know about him, respect and love within him.
"I'm talking like it's my little brother, but from afar, you just respect what he stands for and the way he plays the game."
Curry, meanwhile, sat at a corner podium at which reporters and camera operators stood five and six deep. He did as he always does, speaking softly and carefully but from the heart, conveying the perfect symmetry between confidence and humility.
"It's still sinking in," he said, glancing about the room.
Then, again, it's easy to be immodest when a roomful of stars are behaving as if they are members of the Stephen Curry fan club.
"He is a baaaad boy," Wade said.
"He put in a lot of work," Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said. "You can see how much better he's gotten, year in and year out. He's a lights-out shooter. He's a guy that when he gets it going, there's really nothing that anybody can do about it."