Best Pro Athlete

Stephen Curry

No tattoos or temper tantrums. No ball-hogging or on-the-bench sulking. And no suspicious moped accidents. Guard Stephen Curry's rookie season was marked by steadily improving and oftentimes spectacular play, not the dubious distinctions that have besmirched many Golden State Warriors of recent memory. When the Dubs used the seventh overall pick in last June's NBA draft to select the skinny, babyfaced, six-foot-three superstar from tiny Davidson College, many questioned whether Curry could survive the jump to the pros. But after a pedestrian start his ascending performance gradually silenced all doubters, especially by the season's final month when he averaged better than 26 points, eight assists, and six rebounds per game and made a late challenge for Rookie of the Year. Curry's saccharine shooting stroke, omniscient court vision, and unselfish play restored a glimmer of hope to the Easy Bay's body of zealous-yet-long-tortured pro basketball fans. That feat alone is miraculous enough to deserve this award.

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