The end is near for Eddy Curry, which is perhaps why he chose to wait so long to begin it. According to a team spokesman, the 7-foot center was the last player to report for training camp when he arrived at MSG Training Center Thursday, one day before he was contractually obligated.
Though Curry's decision not to join his teammates for informal precamp workouts, which have been held since late August, caught the attention of media and fans, Knicks president Donnie Walsh was not upset. Considering what this franchise has gone through trying to motivate Curry during the last two seasons, the response is understandable. The team had to go as far as sending him away last fall to get him in the right condition. He returned weighing under 300 pounds for the first time in his tenure with the Knicks. It is believed he has maintained his weight around the 300-pound mark, which is 60 pounds lighter than he was at the end of the 2008-09 season.
"I told Eddy, 'No matter what we do, it's going to come down to what you do and the way you feel about your career,' " Walsh said Wednesday. "And he assured me, 'I'll take care of it.' I told him, 'Look, I'm not going to be bugging you all summer like I did the year before.' So we'll see when he gets here if that will help him. Some guys like it that way."
Curry spent the spring at the training center, where he received treatment for a calf injury that sidelined him for most of last season. He left in late June and did not return, though a person with knowledge of the situation said Curry was working out with a trainer in Ocean City, N.J., through the end of August.
Curry appeared in only 10 games during the last two seasons. The 27-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and will be a free agent this summer. It is almost certain that he won't be re-signed and, unless he proves he can stay healthy and contribute, he could be out of the league next season.
"I'm going to be optimistic about it," Walsh said, "because I never count a guy out."
Notes & quotes: The Knicks added a 16th player to their training-camp roster when they reached a non-guaranteed agreement with free-agent forward Shawne Williams. Williams was the 17th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Indiana Pacers, but his career has been sidetracked by off-the-court issues involving multiple arrests for marijuana possession during the last three years.