Curry Only Has Himself to Blame

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: October 14, 2008

Eddy Curry NEW YORK — There’s a new sheriff in town in New York in head coach Mike D’Antoni and he has absolutely no allegiance towards any player playing on the current Knicks roster.

Yes, he did coach swingman Quentin Richardson to his best season as a pro while with the Phoenix Suns during the 2004-05 season and he had Stephon Marbury long enough to order a pizza (before he was traded to the Knicks); but that’s where it all ends. Donnie Walsh brought D’Antoni in at the expense of hiring former Knicks guard Mark Jackson and this is a new day and time.

So with that being said and with the new and heavy running style that is employed, why on earth would center Eddy Curry even allow himself to come to camp even remotely out of shape. It’s almost too bad that the NBA doesn’t operate similar to how the NFL works with respect to guaranteed contracts.

Had Curry been on the New York (football) Giants, he would’ve been cut a long time ago. His money may have counted against the cap but he would’ve been $11 million poorer for his efforts or lack thereof because he wouldn’t have gotten paid.

Just a few short seasons ago in the career of the Knick behemoth there have been more than a few whispers of Curry’s underachieving and lack of overall substance on the court.

As a matter of fact, former Knick president and 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 Thomas tried to get Curry’s juices flowing.

His former coach in Chicago, Scott Skiles (now with the Milwaukee Bucks) wasn’t as pleasant 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, who has questions about his heart (literally) and all was subsequently dealt as a free agent to the New York Knicks for Mike Sweetney and a few first round picks.

What’s so puzzling and possibly under the surface frustrating with Curry is that if there are indeed issues with his heart, why wouldn’t he strive to always be in the very best condition that he could be in?

Once it was made a fact that the Knicks’ style would change under D’Antoni, one would’ve thought that Curry would’ve hired a personal trainer to work to sculpture his body ala Dwight Howard in some way shape (pun intended) and form. Perhaps he could’ve hired or looked to work with a track coach to enhance his endurance and speed up and down the court.

Maybe he could’ve hired a nutritionist so that he could’ve eaten things that were more conducive to helping his body get stronger, leaner and even healthier. So what if he would’ve backslid from time to time and went on an eating binge here and there, the discipline of better and healthier consumption would be in place and new intake habits overall would’ve taken over. Curry being generously listed at 6-feet-11 inches and 285 pounds isn’t cutting the mustard.

Curry could’ve also enlisted the help of true big men coaches; whether it was a Pete Newell type of big man camp or some other former All-Pro type NBA center that knows a thing or two about positioning, footwork, framework and mental toughness in the low-docks where The Men play the game for real.

Mark Aguirre, truly a nice man and a sure-fire offensive machine was a small forward in his playing days and was never ever even thought of when it came to picking players for the NBA All Defensive Teams. Aguirre wouldn’t have made it if the League selected 20 Defensive Teams as opposed to the standard three.

The bacterial infection that Curry suffered from the first day of training camp (that kept him out for the first week) aside, Curry’s conditioning coming into camp was deplorable. Matter-of-fact, during the teams Media Day, he was the only Knick that covered his body with a black tee shirt.

From the looks of things Curry on the surface is looking like an odd man out. Barring a trade or an injury to another front court player (Jared Jeffries comes to mind) Curry will ride the bench.

And he will be none too happy but he will only have himself to blame.

Love him or hate him as a player, but Marbury came to camp in tip top shape. Perhaps someone should’ve passed along the same memo to Curry.