The last time the Knicks ran into Kobe Bryant, the Lakers star dropped a Madison Square Garden-record 61 points on them in January. They'll try to hold him to fewer points on Tuesday night in Los Angeles and they've even had a volunteer step up to request the assignment of stopping the unstoppable.
"I'm so happy to be back, doesn't matter to me," Eddy Curry said. "I'll guard Kobe."
If Mike D'Antoni goes that route, doubtful but possible, it would only continue to make Curry the unlikely center of everything going on in the Knicks universe these days. Last week, Donnie Walsh cited his play against the Pacers as part of the reason why the team didn't sign Allen Iverson. It's hard to see the connection, but it's more plausible and less insulting than the notion that the team was actually going to be playing their young players more than dead weight like Chris Duhon.
Curry then helped cost the Knicks a chance to beat the Celtics on Sunday when he decided it would be a good idea to assault Rajon Rondo. The flagrant foul resulted in two free throws for Boston and the visitors retained possession of the ball, which adds up to a pretty big sequence in a game that the Knicks didn't lose until the last second of overtime.
Those two examples only scratch the surface of the impact that Curry might wind up having on the Knicks, however. Much has been made about the svelte new physique Curry is rocking this season, but much less has been made about the guy who helped set him up with trainers. Thanks to Henry Abbott of True Hoop, however, the fact that Curry was set up with a trainer by William Wesley is getting more publicity.
Who is William Wesley, a.k.a. "Worldwide Wes"? He's kind of the Zelig of the NBA, a man who pops up all over the place and is often in the middle of major basketball happenings. He helps players find colleges, find mortgages (he's a mortgage broker by trade) and, often, navigate their way through the NBA. He does this for several players, but one of his closest relationships is with LeBron James.
You can probably see where this is going by now, but we'll stop short of saying that a Curry resurgence makes the King likelier to be a Knick in 2010. The team's committment to getting Curry back on the court would likely curry some favor with Wesley, however, and that's sure to help the team's rep around the NBA. That, in turn, will make them a more appealing desination for free agents, with or without James, and Curry is the key to that particular castle.
Something to think about while Curry and the rest of the Knicks fling themselves at Bryant in L.A. on Tuesday night.