The long, strange trip of Eddy Curry
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.
Why anyone would want that baggage is something else... His journey is all but over and bears no watching at all.
i'd like to see what he looks like. if he's in good shape and can impress in practice, Pop has a difficult decision.
the great news for Curry is that with our lack of depth, he has a GREAT chance to outshine Bonner, Blair, and even Splitter (if Oden can bully him around while posting up or on defense). if we decide to keep Curry, look for Splitter or him (doubt it though) to start and Diaw off the bench since Tiago/Eddy can't spread the floor with both in there.
Here's another dilemma that Pop will have to deal with in choosing Curry, if he does. Even though Curry has lost weight and may impress in their training camp and pre-season games, since Curry hasn't played a full 82 game schedule in years, will he hit the brick wall at some point in time. Also, can he endure Pop's wraft when he doesn't play defense up to standards? Lastly, can he maintain his weight level during the season? Personally, I hope he opens his eyes and realizes the oppportunity he has before him and plays to his potential. You invited him RC and Pop, your decision.
Let's hope he can turn his career around in SA like so many others have.
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