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Eddy Curry would like you to stop thinking of him as a joke.
The former No. 4 overall pick in the NBA draft who never turned into the big man the post-Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls envisioned published an emotionally devastating piece in The Players’ Tribune on Thursday.
In the piece, Curry goes through a number of heartbreaking stories about his life as an NBA player and why he doesn’t appreciate people laughing at him, starting with the murder of his ex-girlfriend and infant daughter.
In January 2009, Nova Henry, 24, and her 10-month-old daughter Ava were shot dead by her ex-boyfriend and the lawyer who had handled the child support payments negotiated with Curry, Frederick Goings. Curry was married at the time and still is, but had kept his relationship with Henry a secret from his wife Patrice.
The tragedy was made even worse by Henry and Curry’s other child, Noah, who was 3 years old at the time and witnessed the shootings. From Curry:
Before I knew it, I was on a plane flying back to New York, and even just within those few hours more and more details became clear. I found out that my son Noah was right there when his mother and sister were shot. But he was so little that he didn’t really understand what had happened. He’d tried to wake up his mom after the shooting, so when the officers went in and found him there, he had blood all over him. He actually laid down next to her and had fallen asleep.
Noah hadn’t been able to wake up his mom or his sister, and probably thought they were sleeping, so he went to sleep, too.
Goings was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison. Curry and his wife stayed together and raised Noah along with their other children.
That was just one of the episodes Curry recounted in his piece. The whole thing is a dark example of what can happen when a young person is given millions of dollars without knowing who he can trust or how to say “no.”
There was this story about his agent:
Just a few months after the funeral, in the summer of 2009, I had to sue my agent because he was taking loans in my name and spending tons of my money without telling me.
At one point he actually went out and had a rubber stamp made with my signature on it, so he could just buy whatever he wanted — TVs, Escalades, trips, you name it. He even used that stamp to borrow $500,000 from this dude who had a company that charged an 85% interest rate. Didn’t tell me. Didn’t fill me in later. Just stamped the paper.
I found out when I got sued several months later, after the interest had taken the loan up over $2 million.
And another about a person who he thought was a friend:
I’ll never forget this one time when I had to send off some life insurance papers to my accountant and asked a friend to drop the envelope in the mail for me.
This guy’s been my friend forever. We go way back. So what’s he do?
He opens up the envelope and adds his name to the forms so that if I die 10% of my assets would go to him.
With people like that in his life, it makes a little more sense how Curry went from making over $70 million in his NBA career — even as a bust — to having his own house foreclosed on in 2009.
The whole piece is worth reading, and a strong reminder that people might see professional athletes as a number of things — an idol, a nemesis, a stats generator and, in Curry’s case, a joke — but those athletes are still human beings who might be going through things many can’t even imagine.
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