Is Eddy Curry Becoming The Beast Of The East?

By Jerald L. Hoover
Updated: December 11, 2006

NEW YORK– Just a few short weeks ago and perhaps just as many seasons ago in the career of Knick behemoth center Eddy Curry there have been more than a few whispers of his underachieving and lack of overall substance on the court.

As a matter of fact, his current head coach, Isiah Thomas once mentioned of Curry needing to assert more “manliness on the court”. That was one of the nicer ways in which folk tried to get Curry’s juices flowing.

His former coach in Chicago, Scott Skiles wasn’t as pleasant if you will with what he wanted out of Curry on a night in and night out bases. He used phrases that are not repeatable on this surface to rile Curry.

Neither of them worked to Skiles’ liking and Curry, with an alleged bad heart and all was subsequently dealt as a free agent to the New York Knicks for Mike Sweetney and a few others.

That summer with Curry’s free agent status at the forefront (money had to be mad so exercising on the side of caution was necessary) along with heart problems that scared the Bulls out of their wits, he was unable to work out the way he should have.

Although, it should be pointed out that Curry wasn’t known exactly as a gym rat/fitness guru to start with. He’s always been somewhat of a gentle giant, being so much bigger and stronger than most kids his age.

He was and is a baller make no mistake about it as he was a fourth pick of the 2001 NBA Draft out of Thornwood High School in Chicago, Illinois.

He was talented then and he is talented now. But, goodness knows, talent alone in the NBA doesn’t make for a successful career. Regardless of your position whether it be a big man or a small there is talent all over the NBA.

But, those that aspire to be great don’t rest on their laurels and thus turn the def ear to all of those that said they’re great and all of that when they haven’t done diddly poop.

Curry on the other hand took time off in the summer for a brief period and then became a real student of the game with the help of assistant coach, Mark Aguirre who like Curry is a native of Chicago and also like Curry is and was a load on the low blocks during his illustrious playing days.

So Aguirre had a blast teaching Curry several tricks to the trade of dominate low post play. Curry now is a lot more quicker (he was never really a speed demon to begin with) a lot more nibble around the basket and he sprints down the court without getting tired a lot more often than in past seasons.

And as the Knicks make him better yet, as his teammates pass him the ball in the blocks, Curry is more prone to staying out of foul trouble and giving more effort on the defensive end.

With Ben Wallace still trying to find his way in and around Chicago and with Shaq out for an extended period of time, Curry right now is becoming the man-beast of the Eastern Conference. Teammate Quentin Richardson stated, “There’s no one out there that can handle Eddy and that includes Yao Ming”.

But, when pressed to review the two games this season that Yao dominated the Knicks and Curry, Richardson responded with “That was a different Eddy Curry back then. I know what he can do”.

Of course Richardson didn’t include Shaq in that equation, but you get the picture, he sees a different fire in his buddy’s eye.

Unlike in times past when he was just a man-child during his playing days in Chicago. There is one thing even the most of the ardent naysayer of Thomas have to admit, he can make even an average player feel like he’s on par to All-star status.

Thomas can also pick out talent too. And not to be out done, he can develop talent also; as evident to the jobs he did with Jermaine ONeal and Al Harrington while he coached them in Indiana.

At press time, over the last nine games Curry has been averaging a staggering 25 points and nine rebounds. He had a season high of 15 rebounds and has recorded four double-double during the stretch.

All of those monster games haven’t always translated into wins by the Knicks (4-5 in that stretch) have lost three of those games at home to the Bulls, Raptors and Wizards.

I guess you can’t have everything huh, Knicks fans.