Every league with a Larry Krystkowiak and Doug Moe, needs a Bill Curley. He was an NBA journeyman who lasted longer than most people might have expected but was a major trade piece that changed history. This week The No-Look Pass takes a look at the career of Bill Curley.
He grew up in Boston, went to college in Boston but was drafted by San Antonio. Unfortunately, he wasn't given the opportunity to have a storybook type of career where he would lift the Celtics to a title but he would indirectly help the Spurs to a title but more on that later:
As a senior at Boston College, Curley would fly the Eagles past the top ranked Tar Heels and the powerhouse Hoosiers in the NCAA tournament.
"But it was another senior, 6'9" center Bill Curley, who scored 10 of BC's final 11 points, spinning to the basket past Eric Montross and Rasheed Wallace. The game ended on a telling note: There was Wallace, a freshman who hadn't shot a three-pointer all year, trying to make a trey to tie the game against the Eagles, whose senior sharpshooters had wrung from that shot everything they could. Wallace's effort clanged off the rim." Giant Killers, Sports Illustrated, March 28, 1994
After a successful college career and proceeding into the NBA there should have been no doubt that Curley would be a great NBA player. The San Antonio Spurs selected Curley at the 22 spot of the first round in the 1994 NBA draft. But the Spurs had other plans. They shipped Curley off to Detroit along with a 1997 2nd round pick (Charles O'Bannon) to get Sean Elliott back to the Spurs. Had it not been for this transaction, the Spurs would have no Memorial Day Miracle in the 1999 Western Conference Finals and the Trailblazers would have gone on to win the 1999 title.
After Detroit, Curley went on to have short stints with the Timberwolves, Rockets, Warriors and Mavericks and was essentially a player who perpetually averaged 2 points and 2 rebounds. He was never given a substantial amount of playing time and listed as number 8 on the Best of the Worst Pistons list. Is it justified? Perhaps but nevertheless, The No-Look Pass salutes Bill Curley.
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