Eddy Curry explains why Knicks fans should believe in Leon Rose and William Wesley

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Knicks president Leon Rose Treated Art
Knicks president Leon Rose Treated Art

Eddy Curry played in the NBA for 12 seasons. He was a top-5 draft pick, a McDonald’s Game MVP and an NBA champion.

Now, you can add podcaster to his resume.

Curry, a former Knick, co-hosts The Players’ Tribune’s Caramel & Cheddar podcast with his wife, Patrice Curry.

Eddy and Patrice discuss movie relationships and reference their own 16-year marriage to break down what they see on film. But the show is much more than a standard film review.

Eddy says that he hopes the audience will learn about working through challenges that arise in a long-term relationship and the importance of not giving up.

“Just show people that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that if you're willing to work, this could be a really long, beautiful thing,” Curry said.

Last week, Curry spoke about his podcast, his NBA experience, the Knicks, and why he has faith in team president Leon Rose and executive vice president William Wesley (and Knicks fans should, too).

Curry’s thoughts on those topics and more are in the interview below…

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 22: Nate Robinson #2 and Eddy Curry #34 of the New York Knicks talk on the court during the game against the Boston Celtics on November 22, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Celtics won 107-105.
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 22: Nate Robinson #2 and Eddy Curry #34 of the New York Knicks talk on the court during the game against the Boston Celtics on November 22, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Celtics won 107-105.

‘UNCLE WES’

Curry has known Wesley since he was in middle school. Like other players, Curry calls him “Uncle Wes.”

“It’s more than just a name,” Curry said. “He’s really an uncle to me…. I wouldn’t have been a lottery pick without Wes.”

Curry credits Wesley for connecting him with Tim Grover, Michael Jordan’s trainer, while he was in high school. The connection changed Curry’s career. He outplayed Tyson Chandler and the rest of his class at the McDonald’s All-America game, earning MVP honors.

Curry was selected fourth overall by the Bulls in the draft a few months later.

“He was instrumental for me, always there for me,” Curry said.

Wesley, as you know, has been instrumental in the construction of the Knicks over the past two seasons.

He has had a significant voice in organizational decisions in the Rose era.

Rose, Wesley and New York enter a significant offseason. The Knicks surprised the league in 2020-21, reaching the playoffs and earning the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. The club regressed this season, finishing a disappointing 37-45.

New York has little cap flexibility entering the offseason. But the club needs to establish a direction and win games. Another 37-win season in 2022-23 will result in greater scrutiny of Rose’s group.

Curry, who was a Knick for six seasons amid some poor ones for the franchise, believes Wesley and Rose will turn things around.

“Uncle Wes is a real old-school family guy. He’s the kind of guy who, if he’s doing something, his all is in it. ‘I'm putting all my resources. I'm putting all my connects. I'm putting everything I am into this project, because if I'm touching it, you gotta be able to step back and know that without me saying it, you know Uncle Wes touched this.’ I think he’s doing the Knicks the same way.”

Aug 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Knicks team president Leon Rose during an introductory news conference at Madison Square Garden.
Aug 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Knicks team president Leon Rose during an introductory news conference at Madison Square Garden.

BELIEF IN ROSE

Wesley introduced Curry to Rose when Curry was in the midst of a public standoff with the Bulls over a heart condition.

Rose, then a top player agent at CAA, helped facilitate a trade for Curry from Chicago to the Knicks.

“Leon was able to get me back on the court,” Curry said. “… Without Leon, my career probably would've ended in Chicago that year.”

Curry showed promise with the Knicks but, just like the rest of the franchise during that time, things eventually went sideways.

Curry knows New York well. And he knows Rose. He pays attention to what’s happening locally. And he wants Knicks fans to know that they shouldn’t take Rose’s behind-the-scenes approach as a sign of inactivity.

“What they gotta understand is, (being in the public eye), that's not his personality man. Regardless of how often you see him, you better believe he's making things happen behind closed doors. If I know Leon -- and I know Leon -- he's making some things happen behind closed doors. He's passionate. Anything he gets involved in, he's super passionate about it gets his undivided attention. And it becomes his, his child in a sense. It becomes his family. It becomes his No. 1 priority. And I know that he's not prioritizing anything over the Knicks right now. I can say the same thing for Uncle Wes.”

Curry says it may take Wesley longer to return a message these days, which is a sign of his focus on the Knicks. “He's always been that mysterious figure that gets things done behind closed doors,” he said.

As a former Knick, Curry understands the pressure involved with playing, coaching or running the team. He knows that this is a pivotal offseason for Rose & Co. But he is confident that his “uncle” and his former agent can handle it.

They feel that pressure. But I believe pressure makes diamonds, man…. You better believe they’re gonna make some diamonds over there in New York.”

CARAMEL & CHEDDAR

If you follow the Knicks, you probably know about Curry’s New York tenure. If you didn’t see his essay in The Players’ Tribune, you may not know the whole story. Curry’s essay, honest and raw, gives you his perspective on his ups and downs in New York -- both on and off the court.

And he wants to share his perspective on relationships -- and marriage -- with his wife on the Caramel & Cheddar show.

“We’re so raw and so real with some things we say. That just comes with being together for so long,” Curry said. “We've been married for over 16 years. We've been together for about 20 years. So we pull no punches. We are really honest.”

The show is a product of Curry’s relationship with Chris Bernard, an executive with The Players’ Tribune and a former Knicks exec.

The couple has reviewed films such as Four Christmases and Fences for the show, produced by Greg Cally.

They relate what they see on the screen to their own relationship, which Curry also details in his essay. Curry hopes that their dialogue can help others see the value in fighting through adversity in a partnership.

“We were able to get through it,” he said. “We’re just really trying to help show people that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that if you're willing to work this could be a really long, beautiful thing.”