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News » New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-11-13

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-11-13

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-11-13Hey look, Eddy Curry turned sideways and disappeared! The punchline was usually said at the MSG Training Center because the Knicks center would often try to avoid the media by taking a backdoor off the practice court. But this time the joke regarded his slimmed physique, which was finally unveiled at practice on Tuesday.

The 7-foot Curry, who has been in solitary confinement over the past month on a team-ordered fitness exile, was back on the court with his teammates for the first time since he injured his calf on the first day of training camp on Sept. 29. Curry, who ballooned to almost 360 pounds last season, is said to be below 300 and possibly at his actual listed weight of 295, which hasn't been accurate in years.

"I just know I look different, everyone says I look different," Curry said. "I feel great, so that's all that matters."

Four seasons ago, Curry both looked and felt great on the court. He had a career-best 19.5 points and seven rebounds in 35.2 minutes per game for the Knicks in 2006-07 and appeared to be among the up-and-coming big men in the NBA. But his work ethic dipped the following season, which ended with knee surgery and then completely disappeared in 2008-09, when he arrived in camp nowhere near ready to keep pace with new coach Mike D'Antoni's system.

He quickly fell out of favor, then suffered a bone bruise in his other knee and stopped playing -- and working out -- altogether. By mid-season, myriad off-the-court issues plagued his personal life and he tried three times to get back on the court, but weight and conditioning issues made it impossible. He appeared in just three games last season and played a total of 11 minutes.

Over the summer, Curry worked with two personal trainers and managed to lose as much as 40 pounds by September. But just before camp he tweaked his hamstring and then on the first day of camp he suffered a torn plantaris muscle in his right calf. It is considered a vestigial structure, so the injury wasn't a major setback. In fact, he was scheduled to return within three-to-five days. But it was the final straw for team president Donnie Walsh and D'Antoni. They ordered Curry to work with the team's training staff -- and he did, two-to-three times a day -- and said he would not return until he was able to play without getting hurt.

The result was another 20 pounds shed from his body, which is quite evident in his face, neck and midsection.

Of course what matters most is what Curry can now show on the court and whether he can be a desperately needed boost. It is expected that Curry will be worked in slowly this week and then he'll likely be re-introduced into the system during a four-day break between games after Friday's matchup with the Warriors. The next game is Nov. 18 against the Pacers in Indiana, which is when Curry is expected to make his season debut.

"We'll see how long the process is," D'Antoni said. "Physically, he looks good."

Mentally, Curry knows, like everyone else, that his success is of great importance to the franchise. As much as the struggling Knicks could use an addition of go-to scoring talent, the team would love it if he plays well enough to attract buyers who would take him in exchange for an expiring contract. Consider this: if the Knicks can move Curry's $11.2 million salary off the 2010-11 ledger before this summer, they could very well likely have the ability to offer not one but two max contracts in the 2010 free agency sweepstakes, which, if you haven't been paying attention, will include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson.

If the Knicks can somehow pull this off and get two of the above, then all of this losing -- including Curry's weight -- would be well worth it.

HAWKS 114, KNICKS 101: Al Horford scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the third quarter, as the Hawks (6-2) turned a seven-point halftime deficit into a seven-point lead going into the fourth. Rookie Toney Douglas once again gave the Knicks and offensive spark (23 points) in his first career start, but poor shooting the second half -- as well as poor defense -- resulted in a fifth-straight loss for the Knicks (1-8), who matched the 2002-03 team for the worst nine-game start in franchise history.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 13, 2009


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