They call Madison Square Garden “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” a proper New York City kind of name whether it’s actually true or not. But if there’s one thing that is absolutely, undoubtedly true about the 46-year-old arena: It’s where NBA stars are made.

Why? Some of it has to do with the arena itself, the last survivor of an era before luxury boxes when players wore short shorts and the three-point line was just a gimmick of that other league who used the red, white and blue ball. Whether it was the lighting or the background or both, the Garden (before the billion-dollar redesign, anyway) was always a favorite of shooters, often to the detriment of the home team. Some of it had to do with the star-studded crowds, no doubt—a crowd that has always appreciated great basketball— and some just with being in New York. But for whatever the reason, a trip to New York was reason to show out.

They call Madison Square Garden “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” a proper New York City kind of name whether it’s actually true or not. But if there’s one thing that is absolutely, undoubtedly true about the 46-year-old arena: It’s where NBA stars are made.

When did this start? Hard to say. Michael Jordan notoriously had great games in New York—well, he had great games everywhere, but he had transcendent ones in New York—50 in the Knicks ‘86 home opener, the infamous double nickel in ‘95, and his breaking out original Air Jordan 1s en route to 42 in ‘98.  Reggie Miller did some things. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James racked up a 61-point game and a 52-point near triple-double respectively in the same WEEK of 2009. Then, on Feb. 27, 2013, Stephen Curry came to town.

It was only a year ago, but seems like a lifetime. The Knicks were 33-20, having lost four of their previous five. As for the Warriors, they were in the middle of a five-game road trip and on the second night of a back-to-back, having lost the previous night in Indiana despite Curry’s 38 points. This dropped them to 33-24. But while the records were nearly matched, the teams shouldn’t have been. The Warriors, already without center Andrew Bogut due to injury, had lost former Knick David Lee the night before to suspension, and Curry had been battling injuries of his own. They were decidedly undersized and overtired. Then Curry, exhausted or not, put the team on his slender shoulders.

Curry’s 54-point game—including a Garden-record 11 threes (on 13 attempts!)—didn’t set a Garden scoring record. Hell, it didn’t even win the game for the Warriors. But it still meant something more than his previous achievements, including five 30-point, 10-assist games as a rookie (complete with a 36-point triple-double) and his NBA Skills Challenge crown. If being a lottery pick was the first step toward stardom, and his unanimous selection to the All-Rookie First Team was the next, then his 50-plus at MSG after not making the All-Star team (he was snubbed!) was what fast-tracked him a step beyond. Because while playoff success is a team thing and seemingly anyone can score 50 in an NBA game once (Tracy Murray? Willie Burton?) not everyone can do it on the brightest Off-Broadway stage. Steph’s pops, Dell, a sweet shooter who spent 16 years in the NBA, topped out at 23 points in the Garden.

So as the Knicks continue their nobly futile work of seeking whether a bottomless pit truly has no bottom, it’s perhaps worth remembering that while stardom can still be earned at the Garden, it rarely happens in the home jerseys anymore.

The year since has borne out Curry’s graduation. Curry finished the 2012-13 regular season with the most three-point makes in a single season in NBA history. Then he led the Warriors on a wildly entertaining playoff run, eventually losing in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Spurs. Curry was named to his first All-Star team this month—as a starter, no less—a spot he should hold for the next decade plus. After all, he was the second-leading vote-getter in the West (behind Kevin Durant), and he won’t turn 26 until next month.

So as the Knicks continue their nobly futile work of seeking whether a bottomless pit truly has no bottom, it’s perhaps worth remembering that while stardom can still be earned at the Garden, it rarely happens in the home jerseys anymore. Sorry Carmelo, but those 62 points may have served you better as a visitor. Maybe next year.