Spurs coach Gregg Popovich lavished praise on Tim Duncan at media day on Monday, lauding the future Hall of Famer for everything from his metronomic consistency to his strict diet.
In those areas and pretty much any other you can think of, veteran center Eddy Curry is the anti-Duncan. Yet the two are now paired, if however briefly, with Curry’s unexpected arrival at Spurs training camp.
It was the latest twist in a checkered career that’s already seen plenty, having gone from prospective successor to Michael Jordan in Chicago to borderline washout struggling to keep his NBA career alive. By most accounts
, Curry seems to finally be taking the job seriously. He’s dropped more than 100 pounds in recent years even as he’s been jettisoned by three franchises, most recently the Heat. (This is no mean feat considering Curry once tipped the scales at four bills.)
Indeed, Curry told the Express-News’ Mike Monroe yesterday that he lost an additional 15-20 over the summer, coming in even lighter than Popovich was expecting.
Curry is obviously a long shot to grab the Spurs’ only remaining roster spot. Exactly what role he’d fill if he did is even murkier.
But after all Curry has endured over the past decade – injuries, weight problems, financial woes and personal tragedy – it’s doubtful he’d care if he’s asked to be Pop’s personal errand boy.
With Curry – taken fourth in the 2001 draft, 24 slots ahead of Tony Parker – having devolved into a punch line
, it’s easy to forget he was once a relatively effective player, averaging 19.5 points on 57.6-percent shooting for the Knicks in 2006-07. Of course, he played almost no defense and rebounded at such a low rate as to make Brook Lopez look like the second coming of Dennis Rodman.
But at 24, he seemed to have finally turned the corner after joining the NBA directly from high school.
Two years later, his career was on the verge of implosion, buried underneath the weight – literally and figuratively – of Curry’s horrendous work ethic and even worse decision-making.
His weight ballooned. He reportedly squandered
most of his $70 million fortune. He was accused of sexually harassing his former chauffer
, allegedly inviting David Kuchinsky to “come and touch it, Dave.” Then there was the horrific murder of his 10-month-old daughter
by the mother’s jealous ex.
Not surprisingly, Curry has appeared in only 24 games over the past three seasons. Whether he plays any more, in San Antonio or anywhere else, remains to be seen.
But as has been the case throughout his star-crossed career, Curry’s journey still bears watching. Spurs Nation