(a rare photograph of Eddy Curry leaving his feet)

“They leave the locker room together almost always after games and when the media looks like it is about to approach, usually a code word is uttered,” writes the New York Post’s Marc Berman of the Knicks duo he calls “The DNP Boys”, lumbering, chronically injured C Eddy Curry and concentration-challenged PG Nate Robinson.  “They’ve been friends before this but now they are inseparable as they share a corner of Mike D’Antoni’s doghouse.”

“Me and Nate have always been tight,” Curry said yesterday. “He’s always been one of my closest friends on the team, especially after Jamal (Crawford) left. Our families are real tight even before this. Right now it’s magnified because we’re always the last people on the bench.”

Robinson’s status appears more hopeless than Curry’s. The motivation to play Curry is stronger because he has two years left on his contract and could be traded to open up more 2010 cap space. Robinson is in his final year.

Curry is genuinely hurt, partly because Mike D’Antoni has kept him out of the loop. New acquisition Jonathan Bender, whose dealing with a sore hip, is still a health risk. So Curry should remain patient.

My only problem is D’Antoni’s communication skills, which is poor considering his rep as a player’s coach. Knowing how sensitive Curry is, would it have been so tough for D’Antoni to sit Curry down and tell him he is giving Bender a shot and to stay ready? Seems simple enough.

Unless Berman figures Curry will someday provide sensational copy on the level of the Stephon Marbury scoops the columnist was gifted the past two years, I cannot imagine under what possible circumstances he’d advocate giving the All-Decade Underachiever anything besides garbage time minutes in D’Antoni’s uptempo offense. Unless he’s rooting for Curry to drop dead, which doesn’t exactly jibe with all the TLC the New York media routinely foists upon the former Bull.