HoopsHype.com Interviews

Eddy Curry: "Maybe Cartwright has higher expectations for me"
by Morris O'Kelly / February 10, 2003

As of late you've struggled a bit, you haven't played the number of minutes that you usually do. Why do you think that's the case?

Eddy Curry: Coach Cartwright is trying to do a lot of different things, trying different lineups. We have a lot of young talent and I think he's trying to see who works best together.

Coming out of high school you were dubbed as 'Baby Shaq'. Do you think that nickname made for higher or unrealistic expectations of you?

EC: I think that anyone who goes straight to the NBA from high school, there are high expectations. It's a learning process. It doesn't happen overnight. Look at Garnett, or Kobe. They didn't come in the league and dominate in their first 2-3 years. Jermaine O'Neal is just becoming a star, too.

What, if anything, is this Bulls team missing?

EC: We need time. People want a winner and we understand that, but we've got to grow as a team. There is a lot of talent here. And the longer we stay together, the better it will be for all of us.

How is the dynamic of you and Tyson Chandler working out?

EC: Tyson is doing his thing. He's quick and athletic and he's really stepped up lately. Hopefully I'll get more of an opportunity to do the same. We know that we'll always be linked together and compared along the way, but we're cool.

When you were in high school, you were featured on 'Preps: Chicago Hoops'. Some say that was the beginning of the high school phenomenon that has made people like LeBron James national stars. Do you think the enormous media attention surrounding James and high schools players to follow him is a good or bad thing?

EC: High schoolers will continue to come to the NBA, that's just the way it is. Regardless of if it's LeBron James or some other high school superstar. No matter what, they still have to play the game. What happened in high school is just that, high school. Everyone, the players and media have to keep that in perspective.

Right now, you're averaging 14 minutes a game and last year you averaged 16. Why do you think there's been a decrease in time for you?

EC: It's probably a lot of things. Like I said, trying different lineups. Tyson has played very well lately, Donyell has been doing good; and having a coach who was a big man himself maybe means he has higher expectations for me. I don't really know. I want to get out there and do my thing, but I can't worry about what I don't control. I have to continue to work hard and try to improve. Can't worry about anything else.

This team only has four players with four years of experience or more. How long before Chicago can expect to have a winning team?

EC: You can never say exactly. That's one thing I've learned in this league. There are too many things that matter. But I will say if we can stay together and our fans are patient, it will happen very soon. True, we are very young, but we are very talented. Most rookies and young players don't get any time and they grow into the league. Our young players are out there, playing against the league's best every night. That means something. We just have to stay together.

Morris O'Kelly is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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