Bernstein: Hard To Feel Too Sad For Curry

When he was coaching Eddy Curry on the Bulls, Scott Skiles was asked what Curry could do to become a better rebounder.

He responded, “Jump.”

That exchange tells you what is most important about the bizarre saga of the Chicago native, who returns home tonight as an injured, inactive member of the Knicks.

The Tribune’s K.C. Johnson was prompted to revisit Curry’s history today, essentially describing a good kid who has had a run of bad luck and is waiting for another chance.

I don’t see it that way.

I see somebody who never had to work for what he got, never wanted to work to justify what he was given, and never seemed to understand why he should.

Truly sad stories of unrealized athletic potential are stereotypical: the playground legend interviewed in his childhood home, wistfully wondering what could have happened had bad influences not derailed his chances. The money he could have made, the fame he could have achieved, undermined by poor decisions and unfortunate associations.

Curry is not that guy. Curry has made 70 million dollars.

Sure, it’s all gone now, lost to profligate spending and legal fees associated with an untidy personal life that involves six children by three women. His unending off-court travails and tragedies have been well documented (he was sued for sexual harassment by his chauffeur, his home was robbed, his ex-girlfriend and child were murdered).

What I cannot get past when deciding how to feel about him, though — when I consider everything — is the fact that he’s just been so darn fat.

It’s the least an employer can ask for that kind of money. Stay in shape to do your job.

Run. “Jump.” Exercise.

You can blame the NBA for paying for potential, but that does not excuse a career of poor conditioning. I have a tough time feeling sorry for someone so consistently out of shape while making so much money to not be.

Legend has it that Curry never wanted to play basketball. His remarkable, explosive strength and flexibility led him to gymnastics, but his size defaulted him to hoops as a reluctant seventh-grader.

He has never seemed to love playing, nor love all the work that comes with making the most of such chances — multiple, lucrative chances.

His is not the weepy story of a great athlete undiscovered or undeveloped due to tough circumstances beyond his control.

His is the story of a well-supported, highly compensated, immensely gifted athlete who apparently never appreciated the opportunities he has had.

All he has to do is jump, and he doesn’t want to.

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    So I take it that an interview with Eddy Curry won’t be one of the “surprises along the way” this afternoon.

    • jeffthebrother

      Great stuff Bernsy.. I do feel for him on his personal tragedies with his former girlfriend and son but the money issues and other irresponsibilities are not excusable. I also blamed his family for not taking better care of him and everybody lining up for a piece of the pie. I’m sure all young athletes face this same dilemma white black or whatever.

  • Denver Smeghead

    The NBA still exists?

    I’m starting to get really concerned about the Blackhawks. They’re really not playing well, and I know injuries are playing a part, but it’s quickly becoming apparent that they lost too many pieces of the summer.


      Duncan Keith needs a game or two off. Toewes may need a couple of games off. Pick a game to throw in Crawford and play barnstorming for 60 minutes.

  • Bob Loblaw

    YES! Berstein you are spot on! Your show should have award to pass out to the athlete with the most children from multiple women. It would be a cavalcade of Bear linebackers!

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      We could call it the “Shawn Kemp Award”.

  • Gentleman RaRa

    The Knicks organization is an embarrassment, from their front office to their stadium ceiling. You can chide Paxson for many things as Bulls GM, but letting Curry go after he refused a DNA test out of fear and concern for his health was one of the smartest things he’s ever done.

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    “Look at it, Dave”

    -Eddy Curry


    The arrogance that is Notre Dame in the aftermath of the Declan Sullivan tragedy is getting more sickening by the day. Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick has no plans to resign, let alone ask his current head football coach Brian Kelly to step down either! Who the hell do these two think they are? Well, guess what? I hope they’re happy with this next piece of news…There have been 3 guys who had committed to Notre Dame, and have since de-committed in the last 3 weeks!

  • meesohawnee

    anyone have a problem with this pathetic website doing an auto refresh or is it me? Tired of writing and getting wiped by the refresh. Is there some setting here that im missing? Whomever is the CIO involved with this web design. tell me of the gumball machine you got your degree in. i want one just like it.
    Smeg your right on with the comments. UC too sleepy..To symphony-eee

    • General Soreness

      It’s happened to me a couple of times. This website and blog are pathetic.

  • TinleyParkMike

    Like the idea of an award. Chet. If the athlete has difficulty recalling the names of his progeny, you could call it the Antonio Cromartie award. I saw a couple of Curry’s high school games. He was so strong and tall compared to most of the players he was playing against, that he did not need to jump very much. Perhaps he never learned. I still feel like with his size and athletic ability, he should have gotten 7-8 rebounds a game by accident

  • Schmagurty

    I’m issuing a challenge to you Dan: Write your next column about something positive. No negative angles. And maybe less choppy while you’re at it.

  • puddin' head

    if Dan B must write a positive blog/column it would have to be about himself (cause he don’t like anyone else) and i/we/this blog should have enough of that stuff by now, so stop encouraging him

  • meesohawnee

    theres nothing positive about someone who has millions and is too stupid to keep it. Spin me something positive on that. Learn a lesson from it. Its very sad

  • heybuddah

    Seriously, big fan of Dan B., but I agree with a couple of guys above. For a smart dude, his writing does come off choppy, like a verbal rant he recorded. I also agree that he’s about as negative as it comes, and that act has been done in sports journalism for a long time (see jim rome, mariotti, people with whom you generally don’t want to be in the same conversation with). Its boring, and depressing.

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