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D-League stint may pay off big for Curry

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: December 10, 2007 at 6:34 am •  Published: December 10, 2007
When JamesOn Curry kept his name in the 2007 NBA Draft, few around here thought the former Oklahoma State Cowboy made the right decision.

Instead of sticking around Stillwater for his senior season, Curry was selected in the second round by the Chicago Bulls. And he has yet to step foot on the United Center court during a game.

But Curry is quietly working his way toward NBA relevance while playing in the obscure D-League, the NBA's version of Triple-A baseball. Curry is averaging 22 points, 6.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds in his first eight games with the Iowa Energy. He's averaging more than 39 minutes and shooting better than 45 percent from the field.

With his early performance, Curry could be setting himself up to join a long list of former D-League players who have found NBA success.

The list includes Milwaukee's Bobby Simmons, Charlotte's Matt Carroll and former Hornets Chris Andersen and Devin Brown.

Former Tulsa Victory Christian standout Kelenna Azubuike is the most recent success story, now averaging 13.4 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Golden State Warriors. Azubuike averaged a league-leading 26 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 12 games with the Forth Worth Flyers last season before what proved to be a permanent call-up.

Curry looks to be on a similar path.

"I think he needs a little bit more time,” said Energy coach Nick Nurse. "But I think at the right time and in the right situation he can play up there.

"He can play up there right now, but I think it'd be better for him to get more confidence and more minutes in the situation that he's in right now.”

The Bulls, Nurse said, sent Curry down so he could get significant playing time.

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