MIAMI -- Eddy Curry’s eyes sunk and he instinctively shook his head Saturday when he heard Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green will miss this season because of an aortic aneurysm that requires open-heart surgery.
Curry’s career was threatened in 2005 when an irregular heartbeat caused the Chicago Bulls to shut the center down out of precaution. Curry missed the playoffs that season, the only time in his career one of his teams made it there. Uncertainty about the health of his heart threatened his future when the Bulls were reluctant to sign him to a new contract.
“It’s just scary, my heart and prayers go out to Jeff,” Curry said Saturday after the Miami Heat’s practice. “That is real life.”
Curry, who was eventually cleared by doctors and later signed a contract with the New York Knicks, can relate to the position Green is in. Green’s issue, an aortic aneurysm, was discovered during a physical for a contract he’d signed with the Celtics. That contract has been voided and Green’s future in the game is uncertain. Curry was in a similar position.
“There were 3-4 days where I was in hospitals where it was completely out of my hands,” Curry said. “It is such a tough situation. There are so many factors that go into it. I was just blessed that I didn’t have any lingering effects.”
The news came as a shock to Heat players, who found out just as their workout was ending. LeBron James played in several exhibitions with Green over the summer and immediately sent out wishes to Green.
“Health comes first,” James said. “As a professional, you would think that every last one of us would be in top shape but that’s why the docs are who they are. A few years ago (in 2005) Jason Collier, who played for the Hawks, went to sleep and didn’t wake up the next days. I don’t think there was some of the testing then that we have today.”