and it appears the feeling is mutual.
Do the Bulls miss Eddy Curry? They don't miss the drama, that's for sure. Last November, the Bulls were winless, Curry's mom was taking shots at the organization, and Curry's agents were demanding a trade.
"Oh, that was his mom,'' Bulls coach Scott Skiles said with a chuckle Saturday. "His mom asked for a trade.''
His agents, his mom, whoever. It was always something with Curry. And it's great that Skiles can laugh about it now, but no one was laughing about it then. Curry ended up apologizing for the trade demand and went on to enjoy several productive months until the drama involving his heart condition began to unfold in March. Once again, no one was laughing, least of all operations head John Paxson, who finally ended a medical standoff between Curry and the Bulls by trading the 7-foot center in October.
But what a difference a year has made for the Bulls. After beating the Utah Jazz 103-98 at the United Center on Saturday, the Bulls are 3-2. Sure beats being winless, especially with the annual West Coast road trip beginning Monday at Golden Sate.
"We wanted to have a winning record going out West, so now we do,'' Skiles said.
I assume that Brown also has discovered that Curry, who still is playing his way into shape, is no savior. This, of course, is something the Bulls realized a while ago.
Is it possible the Bulls simply do not miss Curry at all? Granted, his absence has left a big hole to fill in the middle. But Michael Sweetney, the 6-8, 270-pound power forward obtained from the Knicks as part of the Curry deal, is a wide-body himself. And Sweetney has been playing well down low.
"[Sweetney] was in the same draft class as me, so I knew he could play,'' Kirk Hinrich said. "I don't know if he got the opportunity he needed in New York, but he definitely is going to get that here. He's one guy who can score for us down in the block, and to be a good team we need him in the game scoring for us and rebounding.''
Last season, the first play of the game was drawn up for Curry, who seemed to always get off to a fast start. The Bulls have been prone to slow starts this year, prompting Hinrich to wonder aloud if they might not miss Curry's first-quarter play.
But Skiles was hesitant to give Curry that credit.
"What you'd have to do is you'd have to break it down,'' Skiles said. "You'd have to go game by game and see what Eddy [actually] did provide in the first quarter before you jump to that conclusion. I think more than anything else, that just becomes an excuse.''
If Skiles seems almost relieved to be rid of Curry, realize that Curry seems to feel that way about the entire Bulls organization. In an interview with InsideHoops.com, Curry sounded happy to have severed his relationship with the Bulls.
"... I don't really miss that situation,'' Curry said. "I look at that as a stepping stone for me getting to where I need to be.''
Curry said he misses his former teammates, "but other than that, nothing.'' And he had special words for his new coach, calling Brown "great'' and adding, "He's very demanding, but I definitely expected that coming in.''