Miami Heat Work Out Eddy Curry: Why the Human Big Mac in South Beach Makes Sense

Danny DolphinAnalyst IApril 6, 2011

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07:  Eddy Curry #34 of the New York Knicks sits with teammate Nate Robinson #2 on the bench during NBA action against the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2009 in New York, New York. 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 Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

When I first heard about Pat Riley working out the unemployed Eddy Curry, I naturally began thinking about McDonalds and whether there were enough locations in South Florida to fulfill the big man’s “needs.”

After all, league executives estimated his weight tipped the scales at around 375 pounds just weeks ago. That was before he started working out in Chicago with legendary NBA trainer Tim Grover, a man used to training the likes of Dwyane Wade and formerly Michael Jordan.

His weight is now believed to be in the svelte 350 range after Grover’s magic. At 6’11, maybe 7’0″, that’s still beyond enormous.

If you think Zydrunas takes a long time running down the court, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Why the interest?

Curry provides several things the Heat collectively lack within one player. Size, experience and relative youth. Erik Dampier, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jamaal Magloire certainly have size and each provides a heavy dose of experience. But their combined age hits 102, and the potential for any of them playing big minutes beyond this season is in question.

Despite what some may think, I doubt the signing of Curry would signify a drastic change in this year’s playoff rotation. When Riley described the workout as ”more of a big-picture look for down the road,” I truly believed him. Maybe, just maybe he can eat (it’s too easy) a few minutes in the playoffs if he were brought on board.

But why not take a minute chance on him for the sake of the team’s future at center? They may also choose not to sign him now but later on after the playoff run.

Curry’s NBA clock is at nine seasons, meaning there is still time for the man to salvage what was once an extremely promising career. Somehow he’s only 28.

Back in the 2006-07 season, Curry played at a very high level in New York, averaging 19.5 points and 7.1 rebounds on 57.1 percent shooting from the field while playing in 81 games. That wasn’t that long ago, and he’s suffered injuries, major personal problems and weight management issues since then.

When he was at his best, he was a beast on the low block, but a weak, uninterested defender and average rebounder for a man of his stature.

Unless Curry can contaminate a locker room just from his mere presence, and I’m sure he’s capable, I don’t really have an issue with the Heat signing him besides feeling for Jamaal Magloire, the one most likely to be cut.

Best-case scenario would be if he plays a few playoff minutes here and there against Shaq. Then he further transforms his body in the offseason while recommitting himself to the game, putting him in prime position to enter the rotation next season pending he shows the desire to defend.

Worst-case would be if he started taking the team on field trips to his favorite fast-food eateries during the playoffs (run Dexter Pittman, run!), eats his way out of the league again this summer, and his presence on South Beach somehow confuses tourists into thinking they had spotted a beached whale.

To answer the Curry question, I say why not. When the reward quadruples the risk it’s an easy decision.

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