CLEVELAND - Eddy Curry still is about three weeks away from being ready to return to action after having knee surgery Jan. 18. But even after he is cleared, he doesn't expect to get into a game this season.
"The odds are I'm not going to play," he said. "But for my own sanity, I would like to come back."
Curry, who was a curious addition to this short road trip here, has appeared in only seven games this season and 10 in the last two seasons. He spoke with very little optimism about his future with the Knicks but said he has no intentions of using the opt-out in his contract this summer as a means to escape New York. He has one season left at $11.2 million, which the Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - would love to remove from their salary cap.
At Quicken Loans Arena, a group of fans handed out placards of a silly-looking sad-face caricature in the shape of the state of Ohio with the words, "Please Don't Go!"
The giveaways were promoted by pleasedontleave23.com, a Web site created by college students from Kent State University, and the intentions of the campaign are quite obvious.
"Much of our advertising is humorous, helping our campaign go viral, but we take this situation very seriously," one of the Web site's creators, Austin Briggs, wrote on the site. "We want LeBron to know how much we care. LeBron James has a lot of character, and we truly believe that this campaign will make a difference."
The Cavaliers haven't made any references to James' free agency this summer, but a subtle point was made on the video board last night. A scene from "The Wizard of Oz'' was shown, with the Good Witch over Dorothy's shoulder repeating "There's no place like home."
As Mike D'Antoni addressed the media before the game, Shaquille O'Neal stepped into the scrum. "Italian kiss!" he announced with a booming voice as he stepped toward D'Antoni with a hearty hug and planted a kiss on his former coach's ear.