GREENBURGH, N.Y. - The Eddy Curry saga has reached an ironic twist. The player the Knicks would love to trade to clear his $11.2-million salary off the 2010-11 salary cap seems frustrated enough to want to join his buddy Nate Robinson in getting out of New York.
Curry, well aware of the $25,000 fine that the NBA slaps on players who make such public demands, wouldn't go that far, though he did suggest several times that he might not fit in Mike D'Antoni's system.
"They have the power to change it," Curry said, "but until they decide I'm not the right fit by moving me, I'm going to always assume as long as I'm here that I am the right fit."
Curry's agent, Leon Rose, did not return a message seeking comment.
Curry also seemed annoyed with D'Antoni for not communicating the intention to leave him on the bench or why.
"As a player, you always want to know what's going on, but that's his style, I guess,'' Curry said. "I'm not in any position to question his style, so I'm just going to roll with it and hopefully, I'll get out there and get some time."
D'Antoni echoed the same sentiments about Curry as he did Robinson: "I understand the frustration, but again, we're just trying to win."
This is the ultimate conflict of the season: The Knicks want to move Curry but won't be able to find a trading partner if he doesn't prove he can play. Yet D'Antoni has gone away from playing him because, as demonstrated two weeks ago in losses to Charlotte and Chicago, Curry's low-post game disrupts the flow of the spread offense. And with the Knicks (11-18) - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - very much back in the playoff hunt in the weak Eastern Conference, winning games takes precedence over showcasing a player.
Earlier in the season, Curry was thrilled with D'Antoni, who attempted to adjust the system to include post-up plays designed specifically for Curry. But Saturday, Curry clearly was displeased that he's not getting the same attention anymore.
"Definitely no emphasis," Curry said. "Nothing like that."
He did add, however, that "I can't just expect them to change everything up for me, especially because we're playing pretty good basketball right now."
Notes & quotes: Part of the reason why Curry was sent to the bench is because of the quick love affair with Jonathan Bender, who has hit a wall in his last two games. D'Antoni said he will stick with Bender, who is attempting a comeback after retiring in 2006, to get through the expected dip. "Now this is where a crucial thing comes in: Can he get out of it and start progressing?" D'Antoni said . . . Al Harrington was so frustrated by his 5-for-20 shooting performance against the Heat on Christmas Day that he went to the MSG Training Center at 9 o'clock that night to work on his shot. In fact, his own mother suggested it. "The way you shot the ball," she told him, "you need to go to the gym."