In 2001, then-Bulls GM Jerry Krause selected Eddy Curry with the fourth pick in the NBA draft; Curry was 18 years old and had just graduated from Thornwood High School. He and Tyson Chandler were going to lead the Bulls back from the doldrums of the post-Jordan era in the "organ-i-zations win championships" era. But Chandler is long gone, sent to the Hornets in 2006; Curry was sent to the Knicks in a 2005 deal that included a zillion draft picks, one of whom turned out to be Joakim Noah. So that part worked out well for the Bulls.â†µâ†µ
For Curry? Not so much. Today, a luxury car dealership sued Curry for $73,000 in unpaid repair bills:â†µâ†µ
... on vehicles including a Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes Benz, Range Rover, and Rolls Royce Phantom. But several checks he issued to the shop were â€œreturned by the bank for non-sufficient funds," the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court alleges.â†µâ†µ
That, of course, isn't all. Curry has failed to pay a $600,000 settlement in a previous court case and has defaulted on a loan of $570,000:â†µâ†µ
even as he kept up a lifestyle that included a $17,000-a-month suburban New York home, a $6,000-a-month personal chef and 12 cars heâ€™d bought for himself and relatives.â†µâ†µ
Curry is now 28. He's still trying to make it back with the Knicks in the final season of a six-year, $60 million deal.â†µâ†µ
NBA teams can no longer sign kids out of high school. Now, you have to play one year of college ball and be 19 before you can sign. The rule is a joke. Is one more year really going to make these guys more mature? The mess that Curry has made of his career and his life shows that he came into the league and they gave him no support system, no guidance, no help in figuring out how a kid from the inner city of Chicago would do when suddenly given tens of millions of dollars.â†µâ†µ
The same is true with someone only a year older. Either the NBA should raise the age limit to 21, or they have to institute a league-wide program for under-21's entering the league to guide them through life and financial choices -- so that no one winds up with the sad story of Eddy Curry, ever again.