Eddy Curry. That name evokes words such as “bust,” “under achiever,” “lazy,” or “rather corpulent.”
The once highly touted big man fell fast from his perch as one who many considered would be one of the best big men to play the game after he was drafted fourth overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls.
But after a solid first few years in the NBA, he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and after refusing to submit to a DNA test by the Bulls who wanted to test if he had congenital heart condition, Curry was traded to the New York Knicks.
And from here is where his fall to obscurity began.
He drew the ire from his coaches such as Larry Brown for his inability to defend and rebound, never lived up to his ungodly contract, and although had a small resurgence under former New York coach Isiah Thomas – averaging career highs in points (19.6), and rebounds (7.1) – Curry regressed.
In 2008 he arrived to training camp out of shape and subsequently fell out of favor and the rotation under Mike D’Antoni. From there he was traded to Minnesota as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade but was eventually bought out by Minnesota.
And while many felt his days in the NBA are over, and rightfully so, it would seem Curry is making an attempt to get back in shape and has drawn the interest from the Eastern Conference Champions Miami Heat.
Center Eddy Curry is increasing his chances of generating serious interest from the Heat. Respected Chicago-based trainer Tim Grover said last week that since Curry’s workout with Miami in late June, he has lost another 28 pounds and is now at 300. Curry weighed 350 when he auditioned for Miami in March. Curry intrigues Pat Riley, who might offer him a minimum deal postlockout if he loses another 12 pounds or so. His skills “are there, no question,” Grover said.
But should Miami, a legit title contender, bring in a player with Curry’s less-than-stellar time in the NBA?
Sure, if they do not give him a long-term deal. The upside is there, and we know what he can do on the court if he sets his mind to it. He is also still young (28) and would fill a need for Miami. After Bosh, big men for Miami drop off. For example, Udonis Haslem, and Joel Anthony are undersized, Juwan Howard, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Erick Dampier are not as spry as they once were, and Dexter Pittman is an unproven player.
Also, should Miami bring in Curry after the lockout, in the same vein as the Bulls did with Dennis Rodman, a team made up of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and a GM like Pat Riley, they can keep him in line should he regress to his underachieving ways.
His career stats are not that bad. He has averaged 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 64% from the free throw line, 54% from the field, in 25.4 minutes per game.
Overall, there is more reward than risk if Curry can maintain this positive momentum.
Should Curry pull off the comeback, it would be a testament to this once promising young man. Curry would shed the criticism in exchange for accolades he most certainly would deserve.