NBA players are part of a pretty small circle. So much so that both former and present players have known each other for several years without the public knowing it. Such is the case for former Chicago Bulls big man Eddy Curry and LeBron James. Curry claims he's known James since the star forward was just 15 years old, and he got a first-person view of who he really is after a freak basketball accident.
"I got s**t to do!"
Curry related that he's known James since he was a sophomore in St. Vincent-St. Mary high school. William Wesley, now the Executive Vice President – Senior Basketball Advisor for the New York Knicks, used to ask Curry if he could look out for the 15-year-old LeBron. Initially, Curry didn't like the idea as he had other things on his plate.
"I've known LeBron since he was in sophomore year or something like that. I remember when I was in the league and he would come to Chicago to play in like an AAU tournament or something like that. I would basically have to babysit him. I'd get a call from Wes World Wide (William Wesley) and he'd be like, 'I got this kid coming into town I need you to look after him nephew.' And I'm like "man, I got shit to do." This is my hometown, I could be doing this or that," Curry said, per DJ Vlad.
Curry added that he also saw Maverick Carter, Rich Paul, and Randy Mims during those days, who, up to this day, remain in James' exclusive circle of friends and business associates. They were selling vintage football jerseys, which was, according to James, how he got acquainted with them.
Fortunately, Curry agreed to babysit James. The former Bulls forward also had other intentions: he wanted to see how good this high school kid really was.
"I go to the game and it was just pandemonium. I had never seen nothing like that. Let me see if he can really play. And one of the first plays of the game he goes up to dunk. And this little kid runs under him and he breaks his wrist. And they had to escort the kid because the gym was trying to tear this kid apart. And I'm like 'Damn, this is LeBron James,'" Curry said.
From the looks of it, a broken wrist wasn't all that James remembered that day. He also took note of his newfound big brother in Eddy Curry. Fast forward to the 2011-12 NBA Season, James' second year with the Miami Heat, he was acquired by the team in December. Though he didn't play a single game in the playoffs, he was part of its official roster. Therefore, he won his very first ring before hanging up his jerseys and sneakers for good a few years later.