Amidst continued questions regarding newly acquired Knicks C Eddy Curry’s physical condition, the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola throws a new revelation into the mix.
In the summer of 2004, Curry, in an attempt to lose weight, either knowingly or unknowingly began taking ephedra, a controversial diet supplement that increases metabolism. It is not recommended for anyone with a heart condition and federal investigators have linked ephedra to at least 100 deaths – including that of Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler – and to strokes, seizures and heart attacks. It was banned by most sports leagues, including the NBA, long before the federal government finally outlawed its sale last year.
According to a source, the pills were provided by Tim Grover, the Chicago-based trainer whose A-list clients include Michael Jordan and Alex Rodriguez. Curry denied taking ephedra, saying the weight loss was the result of a low-carb diet. Grover did not return phone calls made to his office.
“I wasn’t taking any supplements,” Curry says. “I cut out bread and sugar from my diet. I lost something like 35 pounds and I came in at 275 pounds. I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like myself at all. I wanted to play at 285 or 290.”
According to a source, the Bulls noticed Curry’s dramatic weight loss and became suspicious. Curry gained a reputation as a player who gained weight during the off-season and avoided the Bulls’ training facility during the summer. Curry contends that he preferred to use Grover, whom he hired four years earlier, to monitor his workouts at Hoops the Gym in downtown Chicago.
Although Curry resumed his workouts in early August, there is some debate over just how strenuous Grover’s program was. When Curry arrived for Knicks training camp in Charleston four weeks ago, he was badly out of shape.