2011 NBA Free Agent Signings: What Can the Miami Heat Expect out of Eddy Curry?

Ronnie CollinsContributor IIIDecember 15, 2011

If you are reading this article then surely the glass in front of you is still nearly full of optimism. For my sake that is a good thing. However, I cannot commit to adding more of that substance you are indulging in based on what we know about motivation.

Baby Shaq, as some used to call him, seemed slightly feasible during the 2006-07 season. At that time, Eddy Curry was doling out nearly 20 points per contest and adding seven rebounds.

That was his first year in New York. That was a long time ago.

Now, many pounds and many tattoos later, Curry is stuck between a hard place and a tepid basketball reality. This is probably his last chance at success in the National Basketball Association, and the signs point more south than north.

Prior to signing Curry to the Heat, the last image I had of the big guy was a report about bad financial planning. I think the story had something to do with being broke behind high value items that have nothing to do with basketball development.

I think I recall a loan of more than a quarter of a million dollars that was being addressed in a court out West. I am certain I read those words, closed the browser and chalked the events up to familial leadership.

So, what can the Heat really expect from Curry when the lights come on in the very near future?

Maybe an Albert Haynesworth rendition of "my career was based on the same flooring that hampers the nation’s capital?"

Maybe the Heat can expect the effort the JaMarcus Russell gave to the Oakland Raiders in the offseason.  Based on the track record, that may not be a far-fetched prognostication.

Sorry about that half-full cup.

The soul of mankind typically has a measure of pride that is unwilling to accept total disgrace on the surface. For Curry, I’m sure the flashes will be noticeable when he is getting up and down the court against Dexter Pittman.

It is not uncommon for a guy that is nearly washed up to show flashes, even over the course of consecutive days. Still, that is not the real sustaining measure of what will tell the story. The level of professionalism his 29-year-old body is capable of is the ultimate measure.

Can Curry show that his career means something to him over the next couple of weeks? Will someone grab him by the hand and show him what basketball shape looks like? Not even $68 million could not do that for Mr. Curry.

Will Pat Riley impose the same requirements on Curry that he aimed for the Diesel when he was still viable in the paint?

Everyone deserves a second shot at success, especially when that second chance is two-fold on the back end.  The Heat have needs too.

The organization is pulling for the Illinois product to fill the back-to-the-basket void that still exists, even with the trio of stars.

Like many professional players before him, Curry has a choice to make. He can drop his weight, somewhere around 280 pounds and begin to grasp the touch he had when he was showing signs of being a star in Chicago and New York.

He can get back in the weight room and begin supplementing the daily cardio with simple, light, yet effect strength training. These options are there.

For the sake of human nature, my fingers will be crossed for the big fella, but smart money is leaning heavily on the sell side of the ledger.