Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Knicks’ Curry to Return Tuesday; Walsh Not Opposed to Making a Move
NEW YORK — When your team is 1-6 and struggling to get wins, even the impending return of Eddy Curry constitutes big news.
The 6-foot-11 Curry, who has been out since the first day of training camp with a torn calf muscle, is expected to return to practice with the Knicks on Tuesday.
“That’s what I heard,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said before Utah beat the Knicks 95-93 Monday at MSG to drop New York to 1-7 on the young season.
Curry wasn’t on the team’s bench for Monday’s game, but Knicks President Donnie Walsh previously said Curry was working out “two-three times a day” at the Knicks’ Westchester campus.
Walsh said Curry lost significant weight this summer, but then pulled “his hamstring once and his calf muscle another time” after returning in early September.
That, after last season in which Curry played just 12 minutes in three games.
Still, Walsh believes Curry can help the Knicks, who are sorely lacking a low-post presence.
“It could help,” Walsh said. “Getting Nate back and getting Eddy back would help us, there’s no doubt about it.”
Nate Robinson, whosprained his right ankle in the loss to Philly Oct, 31, could come back Thursday or Friday, D’Antoni said.
D’Antoni said he hopes Curry can dunk on some guys out of the pick-and-roll.
“He’ll be that big guy in the middle, running down setting a pick, rolling and trying to get the ball close to the basket and hope he dunks on everybody,” he said. “That would be ideal.”
If nothing else, Curry’s return could help the Knicks market him as trade bait to open up further cap space. Curry is due $11.3 million next season.
With or without Curry, Walsh conceded that everyone associated with the Knicks is “disappointed” with their start.
“Everybody here’s disappointed,” he said. “The coaches, the players, management. I haven’t talked to the owners, but everybody. Fans. We’re all disappointed. But that isn’t going to turn it around.
“It’s going to take the players to turn it aorund. I hope they have that kind of inner strength because when you get started off the way we have nobody is going to be helping you. Nobody.”
Still, Walsh also said he’s not opposed to making a move and picking up a player if it would help the team and if it “fit in with what our philosophy is going to be.”
Speculation has already arisen that the Knicks should consider Memphis guard Allen Iverson, who has taken a leave of absence from the Grizzlies for personal reasons. But reports indicate Walsh isn’t interested.
Iverson will make about $3 million this year and has no contract for next season.
“It depends who it is,” Walsh said. “I’m never locked in.”
On the one hand, Walsh says his objective is to keep his team under the salary cup so it can afford at least one big-name free agent.
“I’m not going to throw away our ability to get better in the future,” he said of potential trades this season.
He added: “This [losing] isn’t easy for me, but yet I know the best way for this franchise to go is the way we’re going, the fastest way.”
On the other hand, Walsh seems concerned that the media, the fans and perhaps even the players are obsessed with the summer of 2010 and what might loom ahead with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or the other big-name free agents coming on the market.
“I’m not looking to free agency today,” he said. “I’m looking to this team and basically the players on this team because there are guys out here I like, and if I could I’d like to keep them.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.