Stephen Curry: Allen Iverson inspired me to defy basketball odds

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Allen Iverson is a Hall of Famer.

Deservedly so. Nobody pushed their abilities to the edge, nobody defied the conventional basketball wisdom — on and off the court — like Allen Iverson. That made him a hero to a generation.

And it inspired Stephen Curry, the Warriors’ guard told Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com.

“He was a guy I loved watching, just his entertainment value and knowing his story,” Curry recently told CSNPhilly.com. “It was inspiring just to know that you can defy a lot of odds and be yourself while you’re out there on the court playing and changing the game. Everybody used to imitate his crossover moves, obviously starting with the one on [Michael] Jordan and every other one that he did in his career.”

Curry saw what Iverson can do up close. Back in 2001 Stephen’s father Dell Curry was on the Raptors team taking on Iverson’s Sixers in the second round — a series where Iverson averaged 33.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 3.1 steals a game, and the Sixers took it in seven.

“My dad was on that Toronto team so we went to the games, watched,” Curry, who was a teenager at the time, said. “You’d see him out on the floor and you just kind of didn’t think what he was doing was possible. His motor never stopped. His competitiveness and desire out there, he played with so much spirit and passion. You loved watching A.I. play because of what he brought to the table.”

By the way, this is a mutual admiration society — Iverson is a big Curry fan.

Part of what makes both Curry and Iverson special is they are relatable in a physical sense. It’s hard to relate to the physical specimen that is LeBron James, or Anthony Davis, or Kevin Durant — it’s not that they are not fun to watch, but we don’t know what it’s like to be 6’9″ and fast as a gazelle. But Iverson was 6-foot (officially, that may be in shoes) and Curry is 6’3″ and skinny. They are the size of guys you play pickup against on the playground. You can relate.

And they can inspire.

Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett out at least a week with right ankle sprain

R.J. Barrett
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NEW YORK (AP) New York Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett will miss at least a week with a sprained right ankle.

Barrett was hurt during the Knicks’ loss to Phoenix on Thursday. On Friday, he had X-rays, which were negative.

The Knicks announced afterward that Barrett will be re-evaluated in a week.

The No. 3 pick in the draft from Duke is averaging 14.1 points.

Heat: Justise Winslow out at least two more weeks

Justise Winslow
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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat say Justise Winslow will miss at least two more weeks while recovering from a back injury.

Winslow has played only once since Dec. 4 and is slated to be out for at least the remainder of January. The team originally called Winslow’s injury a back strain, then updated the diagnosis to a bone bruise.

Winslow played off the bench in Miami’s win at Indiana on Jan. 8. The team said the back problems reappeared after that game. He has not played since.

Friday’s game in Oklahoma City is Miami’s 41st of the season and the 30th that Winslow has missed. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Heat this season.

Kevin Huerter’s 3-pointer gives Hawks first win in San Antonio in his lifetime (video)

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The Hawks beat the Spurs in San Antonio on Feb. 15, 1997.

The next year, Kevin Huerter was born.

Atlanta’s next win in San Antonio came Friday, when Huerter hit the game-winning 3-pointer in a 121-120 win.

The Hawks’ losing streak in San Antonio spanned Tim Duncan’s entire lengthy career – and continued a few seasons beyond that. The only reprieve came during the lockout-shortened 1999 season, when Atlanta didn’t visit San Antonio. So, the skid lasted 21 games.

Buddy Hield on Kings getting booed at home: ‘That’s how Sacramento fans are’

Kings guard Buddy Hield
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Buddy Hield is quite familiar with frustration amid the Kings’ disappointing season.

Sacramento fans showed theirs Wednesday, booing the Kings during their home loss to the Mavericks.

Buddy Hield, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:

“Everybody is frustrated, it’s not even them, we’re trying to figure it out too,” Buddy Hield said following the loss. “But it’s the home team and we get booed…we don’t agree with it, but they’re going to voice their opinion.

“I understand their frustration, but like I said, I’m going to keep shooting the ball,” Hield continued. “When I make a three they like me, when I don’t, they hate you. That’s how Sacramento fans are, man, so you’ve got to embrace it.”

Hield seemingly isn’t looking to pick a fight with fans. He made a point to empathize with their frustration.

But I don’t think he’s being fair, either.

Kings fans are far more loyal than swinging between love and hate depending whether or not a shot falls. They’re fed up after 13 – going on 14 – straight seasons missing the playoffs. This year has been particularly discouraging, as Sacramento has backtracked from fun and fast to sad and slow. Losing to Luka Doncica particular grievance – only adds to the irritation.

The Kings’ problems have spanned multiple owners, executives, coaches and players. So, booing this group isn’t totally fair, either. But this is who’s in front of the fans.

If this Sacramento team plays hard and together, fans will embrace it – and stick with it through thinner times.