Miami Heat: Eddy Curry's Massive Weight Loss Proves He's Motivated to Succeed

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIJanuary 20, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 19: Eddy Curry #34 of the Miami Heat shoots a free throw during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Arena on January 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat signed Eddy Curry to shore up their center position, and that faith looks to be justified as Curry has lost over 100 pounds to be in the best shape of his career. 

Curry, a former No. 4 pick in the 2001 draft, played in his first NBA game in over two years against the Los Angeles Lakers and made an impact. 

The seven-foot, 295-pound Curry came off the bench and scored six points on 2-of-3 shooting and nabbing three rebounds in just six minutes of action. 

Before Curry signed with the Heat, the former Thornwood High School superstar ballooned to 400 pounds. The 29-year-old Curry also played just 10 NBA games in the last four seasons, so his conditioning was sorely lacking. 

Determined to re-enter the NBA, Curry returned to Chicago and labored with personal trainer Tim Grover. 

With Grover's help and then working out during the Heat's training camp, Curry has been able to shed over 100 pounds and says this is the best shape he's been since entering the NBA draft: 

I worked hard this offseason, Curry told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. I got hurt in training camp, but I guess it was a blessing in disguise because I got to get with the strength-and-conditioning staff and medical staff and really get right. I’m feeling good. This is the lightest I’ve been in a long, long time.

Curry's tremendous weight loss is a blessing for the Heat, who are looking for an effective center to back up starter Joel Anthony that they lacked in 2010-11. What Curry provides is a good low-post scorer who would be able to take up space and fight for rebounds. 

A big, physical center was especially needed as Anthony has more of a power forward's body than a center's, being 6'9" and 245 pounds. 

His best season came five years ago with the New York Knicks, where Curry averaged 19.5 points and seven rebounds a night in 81 starts. There is no reason why Curry can't become the solid center he once was. 

Being out of the NBA has provided Curry with the desire to succeed. When the Minnesota Timberwolves waived him after he was involved in the Carmelo Anthony trade, Curry rededicated himself to the game of basketball.

A motivated player is always a great asset for any team to have, and the Heat seemed to have found one in Curry. If last night's performance was any indication of things to come, Curry will greatly help Miami out. 

Bob Bajek is a featured columnist. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed on and Twitter.