Stephen Curry’s popularity continues to soar 

click to enlarge Mac Lavis
  • Jessica Kwong/S.F. Examiner
  • Warriors fan Mac Lavis of Orinda said he thinks Stephen Curry has been underrated in the early part of his career.

Stephen Curry's rising popularity has become quantifiable. The Warriors point guard scored the No. 6 most popular jersey in the NBA, topped only by LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, respectively.

Making the top-selling jersey list is a first for not only Curry, but for the Warriors franchise since the NBA started tracking sales in 2001, said league spokeswoman Amanda Thorn.

The 25-year-old Curry said the list released Thursday, based on sales from October 2013 to this month, hasn't crossed his mind until he heard he made the cut.

"To be on the list with those names, it's something you hear about that is pretty cool," Curry said. "It means a lot of different things."

What it means for the Warriors -- national recognition -- is the greatest highlight for him.

"If you have a winning team and a team that fans take seriously at a national level that's a big deal," Curry said. "And it's not just me that put our team in that position -- it was the coaching staff, the players."

Teammate Klay Thompson said he was "not surprised" with Curry's jersey popularity.

"The guy is one of the most fun players to play in the league and he can really shoot," Thompson said.

Curry's performance in the playoffs last season catapulted him into the spotlight, according to Warriors radio analyst, KNBR (680 AM) host and former player Tom Tolbert.

Many players on the top-selling jersey list ranked before and after Curry -- Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Rajon Rondo, Paul George and Michael Carter-Williams -- are physical specimens, unlike Curry, Tolbert noted.

"He's just so different from anyone else," Tolbert said. "A lot of people are drawn to that."

Play-by-play radio announcer Tim Roye attributed the growing number of road fans wearing Warriors jerseys in large part to Curry.

"We had some years when it really wasn't cool to be a Warriors fan," Roye said. "Now it's cool to be a Warriors fan."

Orinda resident Mac Lavis, 18, who wore a Curry jersey to Saturday night's game versus the Los Angeles Lakers, felt that Curry has long been underrated, especially after not making the All-Star team last season.

Curry's jersey should have been ranked higher, Lavis said, considering Bryant and Rose are injured and Anthony is having a rough year.

"That puts Curry in the top three," he said. "I think LeBron still has the crown but he's up there with him and Durant."

Whether Curry can crack the top five for the Warriors will certainly be watched.

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About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Bio:
Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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