Monday, January 12, 2009

XXX-Tra Spicy Curry

Center Accused of Harassment.
Gay Harassment.


At the end of a satisfying night of DVRing (the Knicks impressive win over the Hornets and the second two hours of 24), I sat down at my desk to pen a brief post about the game. But then something queer happened. I opened the Internets, peaked down at the sports headlines on the MSN.com page and was about to click over to WWOD? to start typing away. Until I saw it. The third of five bullet points under the Fox Sports header: "Knicks center sued for gay sexual harassment." Two words immediately came to mind. Jerome. James.

I don't know why those words popped into my head. But they did. I only write that because it's true. And for typing that in a public place I guess I owe Jerome an apology. For thinking he was guilty of gay sexual harassment. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The gay part. The harassment part is wrong no matter what. Obviously. And, I learned that I owed Jerome an apology when I clicked through to find Fox Sports's story, which was piggy-backing on an article posted on the Posts's website shortly after 9 p.m. this evening.

The Post reports that the former driver of Eddy Curry is accusing the Knicks center of sexually harassing him and verbally abusing him in all sorts of other ways. The driver, a convicted felon (burglary and resisting arrest are mentioned explicitly in the article) according to the Post, claims that Curry dropped his pants in front of him and said "Come and touch it, Dave." David Kuchinsky, the aforementioned "Dave," also alleges that Curry withheld months of pay and was verbally abusive, including using derogatory terms about whites and Jews. Oh, and he alleges that Curry pointed a loaded gun at him.

The article in the paper, attributed to MELISSA JANE KRONFELD and BRUCE GOLDING, reads like what you'd expect from a tabloid: It's front-loaded with the racy allegations, is peppered with references to the Isiah Thomas/Anucha Browne Sanders trial and the episode wear former Nets star Jayson Williams killed his driver at his home, before finishing off with the denial statements from Curry's lawyer and the biographical information (i.e. the criminal record) of the plaintiff.

To read the last 100 words of the story you'd think that this accusation is baseless and this guy is just out for money and attention. But, to read the first 100 words of the story you'd think that Curry is the latest in a long line of athletes run afoul of decency and the law.

Yeah. I've got nothing on this right now. Eddy Curry is 26 years old, married (to a lady) with four kids, and the only time I've heard anything involving his off-the-court life is when he was the victim of a home invasion at his Chicago home in 2007. Am I inclined to believe that a ballplayer could treat an employee terribly? Yeah. Did I take Curry for that sort of guy? Not really. I thought he was slow-witted and slow-footed but probably a nice enough fellow. I thought this based on nothing, of course. I've never met him. One time I sat a few rows behind the Knicks' bench when they were playing the Nets. But that is really the closest I've been to Eddy. He's enormous. That I can vouch for. But can I say with any certainty that he isn't occasionally hooking up with dudes on the down low? Nope. Did I take Curry for that sort of guy? Not really. And, not that there's anything wrong with that. Seriously. WWOD? believes in different strokes for different folks.

But, no matter what the truth, I would guess that it'll be a messy and public road until we arrive there. Which is just what the Knicks need. My first reaction is that it's untrue and this former employee is out to blackmail his rich boss. But I might also be inclined to think that because I hope this is untrue. For several reasons. Not all of them selfish or cruel. But also because I'd imagine it's a lot harder to trade a bloated player, with a bloated contract who is a sexual predator. Especially before next month's trading deadline.

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