A somewhat svelte-looking Eddy Curry stepped onto an NBA floor last Thursday night for the first time since 2010, and he says that it couldn’t have happened without the encouragement of teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Reports the Miami Herald: “So much freedom. So much temptation. It was a long lockout. There were days Eddy Curry felt hungry and tired, and the NBA seemed so very far away. What’s one handful of candy? What’s one missed workout when no one is really working or watching? Curry thought about going to the club, thought about going to McDonald’s, thought about sleeping in late. ‘But I was getting a call or email or text every other day,’ he says. ‘When it wasn’t D-Wade, it was LeBron.’ [...] Curry met with the Heat during last year’s playoffs but, in the words of coach Erik Spoelstra, he was ‘not ready even for any kind of workout.’ Still, it is very hard to find 7-footers who are smooth and skilled around the basket, especially cheap ones, and Wade and James knew what kind of treasure was buried under 70 extra pounds of flab. So they kept pushing and prodding their giant friend with a combination of gentle patience and tough love all offseason, telling him he was still young enough to overcome all he had squandered and endured. ‘I thought I could help them while I was watching the playoffs,’ Curry said. ‘But then they started calling. It wasn’t me imagining or dreaming anymore. It wasn’t third party. I heard it from their mouths. Do you know how much that motivated me? That these guys wanted me?’ How much weight has he lost? He shrugs his giant shoulders. More than 70 pounds. He says he hasn’t been this light since the day he was drafted fourth overall in 2001. Throughout the lockout, Wade and James kept inviting Curry to play with them in charity games, trying to keep him connected, trying to make sure he didn’t stray.”