Eddy Curry looks like new man in NBA return

Eddy Curry looks like new man in NBA return

Published Jan. 20, 2012 12:04 p.m. ET

Out of the NBA since appearing in a Dec. 17, 2009 game with the New York Knicks, Eddy Curry made it back to the court in Thursday's 98-87 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Sidelined at the start of training camp by a hip flexor and dealing with ongoing conditioning concerns, Curry played six minutes in two stints against the Lakers, closing with six points and three rebounds.

"It felt great," Curry said of the ovation that greeted his entrance. "I didn't know what to expect. I've been working hard for this moment. It's the first of many. It's a long way to go."

Just to make it this far represents a significant step, with Curry at one point over 400 pounds while inactive last season. He has shed nearly 100 of those pounds in the interim.

Curry said he is down from the 330 pounds he reportedly carried into training camp.

"It's a great number, but it's not where I want to be at," he said, with the 76ers up next for the Heat, on Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena. "So when it's where I want to be, I'll probably put a sticker on."

Curry said the hip flexor no longer is an issue.

He said he mostly has been watching and waiting for his opportunity.

"Every game, every practice, I'm thinking about it," he said. "Even when I was hurt, I had so much time to really watch film and watch the guys as we played and as we practiced and I kind of just saw spots all over the court."

Coach Erik Spoelstra said simply getting in uniform is a significant accomplishment for Curry.

"He has been tremendous with his work and commitment," he said. "We started this process last spring. He did a lot of work on his own to get the opportunity to join our training camp. It's great to see him make the most of it and get to this point.

"He has come a long way, and we're all very encouraged by it. It is a big step forward.