Five years ago Amar’e Stoudemire packed his bags and moved east to the bright lights of the Big Apple. After signing a massive $100 million contract with the New York Knicks, Stoudemire never met expectations in four and 1/2 injury plagued seasons.
Stoudemire’s contract was the equivalent of putting the New York Knicks into a salary cap induced coma. The ineffective Stoudemire’s contract made him completely untradeable and his production contributed to making the Knick unwatchable.
As his time with the Knicks ticks away, Amar’e Stoudemire couldn’t help but reflect on his time with one of the NBA’s most famous franchises. Within the statement may be a little glimpse into the future.
"“I gave it all, man — my heart, my body and my soul,’’ Stoudemire said after practice. “I truly gave it all. I’m still giving, still dedicated to the game of basketball, still dedicated to New York State and the Knicks.’’“We never had a championship, but the excitement and hope is there,’’ Stoudemire said. “Before there was a void of hope and happiness around the Knicks. After I signed, the hope became greater, the happiness, the excitement came, the Garden was rocking. We did make a few playoff pushes through the years. The fans are still active and proud Knick fans.’’"
Its hard not to notice the tense Stoudemire uses in these statements. He could be that he sees the writing on the wall as the Knicks look to rebuild under Phil Jackson. That rebuilding process could start in earnest if the Knicks and Stoudemire can come to an agreement on a buyout.
If they can come to an agreement, a buyout could also mean a new start for Amar’e Stoudemire who is rumored to on the fast track to returning to the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns aren’t the only team interested in Amar’e Stoudemire. The Golden State Warriors have jumped into the fray with coaches Steve Kerr and Alvin Gentry (who knew Stoudemire in Phoenix) could offer a comfortable landing spot for the former Sun’s big man.
But returning “home” to Phoenix where he had so much success may be the best situation for Stoudemire and offer the biggest confidence boost to his game. The biggest question is whether or not Stoudmire’s knees have one more playoff run in them.