Found April 19, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
New_york_knicks_d1ba
MIAMI -- For Eddy Curry, is the glass half full or half empty? Well, maybe it's not a see-through glass. On one hand, the Miami center is disappointed all his hard work this season to lose weight has not translated into playing time. On the other hand, he's well aware what the Heat have done to resurrect his career when it looked as if it might be over. "As far as playing wise, it hurts me that I'm not playing," Curry said in an interview with FOX Sports Florida. "Honesty, I feel like I did a lot to put myself in a position to be successful here but it just hasn't turned into minutes for me. But I think, on another note, my body is great. I'm continuing to lose weight, continuing to get myself in great shape. And that's all I can really ask for. It's a world-class organization here, and just to be a part of it, I feel extremely blessed and I'm still making the best of it." At one point last year, the 7-foot Curry weighed nearly 400 pounds and it was no certainty he ever again would play in the NBA again. But the Heat took a chance on him, and he's now below 300. But it hasn't translated into minutes. Curry has played in just 13 games all season, averaging 1.5 points and 0.6 rebounds over 4.5 minutes. When the Heat signed free agent Ronny Turiaf last month, Curry dropped to fourth on the depth chart at center, also behind Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman. Considering power forward Udonis Haslem recently has slid over to start some games at center and power forward Chris Bosh also moves at times to that spot, Curry's chances to get meaningful time in the playoffs are all but nil. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Curry has "come a long way" both physically and in "learning a complex defensive system." But he said it didn't help Curry when he suffered a hip injury in training camp during this lockout-affected 66-game season. "The fact that it was a truncated season (and) he missed all of training camp," Spoelstra said before Thursday night's game against Chicago when asked about Curry's lack of minutes this season. "I counted the other day. I think he's had 10 practices the whole year, and we had 76 last year." But next season will be a full one. And Spoelstra spoke of a desire to have Curry return after he becomes a free agent. "He's done a lot for himself to prepare him for next year, hopefully with us," Spoelstra said. "But he's set the table for himself to resurrect his career wherever he ends up going." So that begs the question: Is Curry interested in returning to Heat next season? "I don't know," he said. "We'll see what happens. I'm here right now. I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know what's going to happen in the playoffs. We'll see what happens. That's all I can really do. At the end of this thing, I'll sit down with (Spoelstra) and with (Heat president Pat) Riley and with my agent (Leon Rose)." Curry didn't disagree it could be difficult returning to Miami after playing so little. "Obviously, it'd be tough," Curry said. "Although I haven't played and they told me I would play, it hasn't shaken my confidence at all. They're real hands-on here. Coach Spo talks to me about it and tells me what's on his mind and I tell him what's on my mind. As long as that line of communication is open, I got to take them as men of their words. I have no complaints. Of course, I would love to play. Everybody would love to play." Curry did get at least get a brief appearance Wednesday. He got in for the final 3:30 of a 96-72 rout of Toronto, just the second game he has played out of the last 16. Curry called it "a lot of fun" scoring four points, including throwing down a nifty dunk. Heat star LeBron James, sitting out the entire fourth quarter, cheered from the bench for a guy who has been his friend since James was in high school and Curry was a Bulls rookie in 2001-02. "Even if his number is called less than he thought it (would be) coming into this season, his number could still be called, and you got to stay ready," James said. Overall, Curry tries his best to look at the big picture and how far he has come. Prior to his Jan. 19 appearance against the Lakers, Curry hadn't played in an NBA game since he was with New York on Dec. 17, 2009. Curry, who had averaged as many as 19.5 points with New York in 2006-07, had become the butt of jokes during his final years with the Knicks. Disappointed with the way it was going, Curry got more and more out of shape. New York last season had him to stay away from the team, and he finally was traded in February 2011 to Minnesota because his 11.5 million salary fit into a three-team deal that got the Knicks Carmelo Anthony from Denver. The Timberwolves immediately waived Curry. But the Heat was willing to give Curry another chance. He signed a minimum deal last December that initially was nonguarateed. "It's an incredible transformation physically, and also to become a part of structure and a program and an organization that's believed in him enough to invest a full year and all this time in development," Spoelstra said. For that, Curry is grateful. "Worst case, I'm in the best shape of my life, and I'll take that," he said. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail or on Twitter@christomasson.
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