NEW ORLEANS -- You can hear the excitement in his voice, see the awe in his eyes. So when Stephen Curry expresses his amazement at being an All-Star, it's believable.

"It's surreal, man," Stephen Curry said after the Western Conference All-Stars' morning practice on Saturday. "I'm enjoying it and taken it all in, but it's still surreal that it's actually happening."

At the same time, he doesn't appear overwhelmed. The way he feeds the media beast. The way he interacts with his fellow All-Stars. When he says he's comfortable on this big stage, it's believable.

"I feel at home here," Curry said, "so it's good."

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) dribbles around  Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler (21) in the first half of a NBA game at the Oracle Arena
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) dribbles around Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler (21) in the first half of a NBA game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area New Group) ( RAY CHAVEZ )

Both ends of the spectrum makes sense for Curry. His first All-Star should feel other-worldly. Especially when you consider this platform didn't look possible at one point. Between ankle issues, bad teams and splitting positions, some thought he would never get to this level.

This is the same guy who used to get benched for Acie Law. A reality he can now laugh at.

"He's my biggest inspiration," Curry said with a laugh. "He definitely motivated me to keep working. I almost wanted to quit basketball."

Truth is, quitting was not an option. Not after dozens of ankle sprains and two surgeries. Not after three straight losing seasons to start his career. Not after getting snubbed last year for an All-Star berth.

Curry has always known what every just figured out: he belongs here. He's been groomed for this, on-and-off the court.

His father, Dell Curry, exposed him and groomed him. His career at Davidson, which included a captivating run to the Elite Eight, prepped him for the frenzy and pressure of the spotlight.

All he needed was for his game to catch up. And it has. And that's surreal.

"You pay attention to All-Star Weekend," he said. "You watch all the story lines. You watch the game. To be on the other side of the line, experiencing this ... It's so rewarding knowing where the team was from my rookie year and how we've tried to change things. ... To be part of that process, it's special."