It's unfortunate. I still think Eddy should be a top three big guy in this league. Easily. With his physical advantage, his size and his touch and his athletic ability for being that big ... it's something that we lack in this league right now. Not a lot of big guys out here. He should be at the top of his game. He should be an impact player. I felt bad for him in New York. I felt like he never really got a shot. I don't know what went on there, so I can't take sides, but I definitely felt bad for him. I felt like if he had an opportunity to change things around, to show people that he was valuable ... I hope that opportunity comes around for him.
People have been fixated over Eddy Curry and his failures (and fizzled potential) for years now. In an in-depth interview with ESPN TrueHoop, Mavericks center Tyson Chandler talks about being an NBA champion, the offseason and lockout, and of course, his former Bulls teammate Curry, among other things.
It's interesting to hear Chandler's thinking that Curry never really got a shot as a New York Knick. He certainly had his shot, in my opinion, but the pressure to succeed was surely too intense. Expectations were high for Curry, who was first touted as "Baby Shaq" to then the Knicks' best big man since Patrick Ewing (who celebrates his birthday today--happy birthday, Big Fella!).
Shaq and Ewing are no two easy big men to match up to, and frankly, Curry's style of play wasn't that of either of them. Curry was clearly a softer player, who although could certainly score in bunches, was not going to be the physical nor defensive player the Knicks have still craved down in the paint to this day.
While I understand he was built a certain way that made scouts and fans alike believe he could be something else, it's not unreasonable to assume Curry could've been a 20 point per game scorer with a lot more patience, ease, and less pressure. The problem, for the Knicks, I suppose, is that he wasn't going to be much more than that. While a 20 point scorer is nothing to sneeze at, Curry didn't have all of the tools (motivation being one of them), to be the entire package.
Furthermore, whether he was out of shape or in tip-top shape, I'm not sure Curry was going to excel in Coach Mike D'Antoni's offense either way. Again, comparisons to Shaq were drawn when considering how O'Neal experienced more than moderate success with D'Antoni in Phoenix, but that pairing was simply not given enough time to work itself out. Curry's expiring contract in the Carmelo Anthony trade proved to be an invaluable asset, so perhaps things worked out for the best.
Nevertheless, that still doesn't solve the mystery of Eddy Curry--what he could have or was supposed to be, and what will come of him in the future. The Miami Heat have reportedly worked Curry out a couple of times in the last few months, and would apparently be interested in giving him a shot if he were able to get himself back into game shape once again.
In any event, make sure you check out Chandler's full interview with ESPN TrueHoop. It's a great read for any basketball fan craving a fix during the lockout.