Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ever heard of Reggie Lewis or Hank Gathers? Apparently Eddy Curry hasn't.

I understand that $20 million is less than $60 million, but is it worth it when you are putting your life at stake? Eddy Curry is going to find out. Eddy Curry is or was one of the Baby Bulls of the Chicago Bulls. Drafted in the top five out of high school by Chicago, Curry showed flashes of brilliance on the offensive end but was a flat footed zombie when it came to defense and rebounding. Curry also was an all star at the buffet table apparently.

Even though he was sometimes lazy and a non entity on defense, the Chicago Bulls still liked his upside. Late last year, Curry had some heart problems and missed the last of the season and the playoffs. He was diagnosed with having an irregular heartbeat. Some doctors claimed that this could be symptomatic of a greater problem, one that could result in death if Curry continued playing basketball. This same heart problem led to the death of Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis, both of whom died while on the basketball court.

Doctors told Curry and the Bulls they could give Curry a DNA test to find out if he indeed had this heart problem. Curry and his agent of course said no way. If the Bulls found out he had this problem, there goes his shot at the mega millions he was sure to get. The Bulls wanted him to stay in Chicago, but the insurance company that covers NBA contracts would not cover Curry’s if indeed it was found out that he had this heart problem.

Whether the Bulls are just trying to cover their butt or are actually concerned about Curry’s health (I suspect a little of both) they offered Curry $400,000 a year for 50 years if it was found that Curry did have the DNA test and it was found that he indeed had this heart condition. Curry turned it down because he thought he could get $60 million from a team that would take a chance on him. He was right.

Last night the hapless New York Knicks traded some bad salaries basically for Curry and signed him to a $60 million deal. The Knicks have not tried to make him take the DNA test. The question now is, does Curry take the test now that he has a guaranteed contract? Did the Knicks put something in the contract’s language to protect themselves if it is found that Curry has this condition and can never play again? If Curry finds out he has this condition does he retire like a rational human being should or does he show some loyalty and continue to play?

This is a very dicey situation. The Knicks have taken a big risk on signing a player that might not be able to play for them. There was a big risk to begin with. I think they lose either way on this deal. Curry didn’t hustle or play with much passion in his contract year. The last year of a contract is a year that usually guarantees that a player will bust his rear to get a big contract. Now that he has this big contract I do not see him being any better than a Michael Olowokandi. That is bad news for the Knicks, but if Curry collapses and dies on the floor that is bad news for everyone.

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