LeBron James reaches out to Eddy Curry
LeBron James has reached out to the Knicks, which may or may not be such
a good thing for Donnie Walsh’s club.
James, according to a source, has contacted Knicks center Eddy Curry
about working out together at some point during the offseason. There may
be nothing more to it than the fact that James and Curry are
represented by the same agent, Leon Rose. James and Curry also have
close ties to noted NBA power broker William Wesley, whom the Knicks put
in charge of Curry’s workouts last summer.
But Curry’s involvement in the Knicks’ recruitment of James is interesting since the veteran center has had a famous falling-out with head coach Mike D’Antoni, which began as far back as D’Antoni’s first practice with the Knicks.
The crux of their problem is that Curry has rarely been healthy or in shape since D’Antoni was hired. In fact, Curry has appeared in just 10 games over the past two seasons, a number that would be unacceptable to any coach.
Curry, however, according to team sources, feels that D’Antoni never gave him a fair chance and that he set him up for failure by pulling him from the lineup in early January just as Curry was attempting his comeback.
Curry even elected to have knee surgery during the season rather than wait until late April because he was convinced that D’Antoni wouldn’t play him.
If James were to ask Curry about D’Antoni, chances are that Curry would not provide a glowing report. Several Knicks complained during the season about D’Antoni’s lack of communication over their roles and status.
Whether that hurts the Knicks’ chances of signing James remains to be seen. There seems to be no doubt that James and "my team" as he calls his agent, adviser and friends, are doing as much research as possible on prospective teams.
Nate Robinson, who left the Knicks on bad terms with D’Antoni, had told friends after the trade with Boston that if James asked him about New York he would tell him it’s a great place to play.
Curry, however, hasn’t had the same experience as Robinson, who was always a fan favorite.
What does help the Knicks is Curry’s strong relationship with Walsh, the Knicks’ president. Even though Garden chairman James Dolan stepped in last summer and demanded that Curry lose an unspecified amount of weight or face a fine, Curry felt that Walsh always had his best interests at heart.
Monday, Walsh reiterated that he is still optimistic that Curry can be an asset to the team. Curry’s expiring contract instantly makes him an asset, but Walsh is talking about Curry making an impact on the court.