2010 Report Card: Eddy Curry
Given Curry’s lack of court time last year there’s no point in doing any kind of statistical analysis of him. In fact he’s only played 10 games total in his 2 seasons under D’Antoni. And I don’t foresee any more in a New York uniform. At this point he’s merely a big contract, a tumor on the Knicks cap space. If Curry has the desire to play elsewhere, the Knicks can buy him out and save some money for free agency this summer. If he doesn’t New York can use his contract in a trade. The latter might cause more of a problem because the Knicks would have to include some tangible assets, and last I checked most of them went in the Tracy McGrady swap.
As for Curry the player, he was 90% as athletic as Shaq, but only had 10% of the Big Diesel’s skill set. Curry featured the same 3 or 4 moves that were defendable with a double team or defender drawing a charge. And while Shaq rounded out his game with great rebounding, defense and passing, Curry lacked any semblance of these skills. Curry came into the league as a guy that if you gave him the ball often enough he would give you 20 points trailed by a string of deficiencies. He never evolved beyond that.
Eddy’s biggest shortcoming was not being able to improve himself. When Eddy Curry arrived in New York, he was supposed to turn into the franchise center. What he failed to grasp was that he was supposed to grow into that role, not fall into it. I won’t be surprised if another team gives Curry a chance. But no one is going to throw a big contract at him, or even hand him a starting job. His upside now is a decent backup center, one that can provide a some scoring off the bench. And that’s the best case scenario. I won’t be surprised if he fails to accumulate 1000 minutes in a season again.
Ultimately Eddy Curry’s legacy in New York will be a cautionary tale. Becoming a great athlete is more than just size and physical ability. At the highest levels, sports are about preparation, technique, and desire. Many players have excelled in the league beyond their bodily limitations due to an excess of these attributes. On the other hand plenty of beastly youths have failed to reach their potential. For teams scouting young players, having great physical ability without great yield should be a warning sign that the player is lacking in the mental traits to make them into a franchise player. Eddy Curry’s career is the response to “you can’t teach height”, or more succinctly put “production trumps athleticism”.