According to the Associated Press, Eddy Curry will miss the rest of the season with a right calf injury. All that really means for Curry will be watching games while wearing a suit instead of a uniform, as Curry hasn’t played a minute for the Knicks since December 17th, 2009. Curry has played 62 minutes all season. During that time, Curry has put up 21 shots, made eight of them, and turned the ball over 13 times.
Curry is in the penultimate year of his contract, and was paid just over 10.5 million dollars this season. For those of you keeping score at home, Curry made $169,262 per minute played. Once upon a time, Curry was one of the most promising young centers in basketball. He was massive, had touch around the basket, and looked like he could become a dominant force scoring on the blocks. Sure, he never rebounded, played defense, or learned to pass out of double-teams, but that wasn’t supposed to matter. He was big. He could score. Everything else would come with time, or so the theory went.
Except that’s not the way it turned out. The NBA became more of a drive-and-kick league, Curry encountered injury and off-court problems, and Curry never evolved into anything more than a one-dimensional post scorer. That one dimension might have been enough to get Curry playing time with some coaches, but not Mike D’Antoni. Thanks to D’Antoni’s devotion to uptempo play and what the AP described as Curry’s problems with “injuries, illness and ineffectiveness,” Curry has only played 74 minutes since D’Antoni took over the Knicks.
What makes everything more interesting is that Curry has a player option for 11.3 million dollars next season. Outside of Curry, the Knicks owe well under 10 million dollars to players on their current roster. Knicks GM Donnie Walsh has been relentless in his efforts to clear the slate for the Knicks going into the summer of 2010, but Curry’s contract is the one smudge that won’t go away.
Curry is still only 27 years old, but it already feels like he has entered the twilight of his once-promising career. This summer, the Knicks will pay at least one player a lot of money to try and bring NBA success to one of the best basketball cities on the planet. However Donnie Walsh’s grand experiment ends up working out over the course of the 2010-11 season, it looks like Curry will be watching from the bench, collecting checks and wondering if he’ll ever be an NBA rotation player again.