The summer of 2010 included top tier free agents such as Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. At the end of the whole free agency period, The Knicks landed Power Forward Amar’e Stoudemire. Four and half years later, Stoudemire has been bought out of his final year of his five year 99.5 million dollar deal, and now is apart of Dallas Mavericks.
Stoudemire was not the top choice of Knicks Fans due to the fact of the idea of Lebron James joining the team. For Knicks fans, the acquisition of Stoudmeire was equivalent to a child not getting the toy they wanted in a Mcdonald’s Happy Meal.
He was coming off an eight year career with the Phoenix Suns averaging 21.4 points. Stoudemire was considered one of the most explosive players in the league but he endured injures while on the Suns. He had a microfracture knee surgery as well as an eye surgery.
When he signed his five year ninety nine million dollar contract, Stoudemire best years were behind him. He also said during his press conference that “The Knicks are back.”
Amar’e Stoudemire’s first year with the Knicks was something the Garden has never seen. A big part of his success has to be accredited to point guard Raymond Felton. Him and Stoudemire on the pick and roll were lethal. Stoudemire would either roll to the basket or pop out for his nearly automatic fifteen to twenty foot jumpshot.
Stoudemire was the face of the franchise for only half of the season becuase the Knicks made a blockbuster deal to acquire one of the best scorers in the league Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets.
Despite Anthony being on the team, he gave new hope and faith for the franchise and the city. Also in his first season he eclipsed Willy Naules franchise recorded of most consecutive games scoring thirty points with nine straight games. He also had a twenty six game streak of scoring twenty plus points per game. He finished the season with 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds.
The Knicks knew Stoudemire he wasn’t the player he use to be, and that proved to be the case. He had a multitude of knee injuries as well missing time due to injuries of his hands, toe and back. He did not play in sixty three percent of the games while being on the roster.
Let’s not forget what happened after game two against the Miami Heat in 2012.
Amar’e Stoudemire criticism as a Knick was his effort on defense. He was never known as a defensive presence, but STAT at times would literally just stand tall and talented. With players on the roster such as Tyson Chandler, he did not have to guard the best big man on the opposing team. But at times with the Knicks he would be guarding the best post player on the team, and teams took advantage of that matchup.
Stoudemire was still a prolific scorer with the Knicks. There were stretches when Carmelo Anthony was injured, he would take on the offensive load. Even when Stoudemire would come back from injury, he would still post up at least twelve points six rebounds. Although his numbers drastically dipped from his first year as a Knick 25.3, 17.5,14.2,11.9,12.0, he still was an offense threat.
The Amar’e Stoudemire era as a New York Knick should not be considered a bust. This man put the city on his back and embraced the whole New York aspect. From him finding his Jewish heritage to him bathing in wine he can only and oddly do that as a New Yorker. Stoudemire started the Knicks rejuvenation of the franchise. With out Stoudemire’s early success the Knicks could still behind the eight ball.
Carmelo Anthony had to say on Stoudemire’s departure, “… When he came [to New York] he brought back some excitement to the game of basketball here in New York. There was hope when he came back. People started believing in the New York Knicks again. He was the main reason for that belief and for that hope.”
It was a bummer to see a player of his caliber to be injured for the amount of time he was because he could of did so much more for the team.
For Amar’e Stoudemire his buyout was like the few sand grains remaining in the glass, his time as a Knick was coming to a end. With the Knicks fans getting on him for not being the player he was, why would so many teams would have interest in him for the player he is now? A scoring big man that can make an impact on a playoff contending team. He served his time as a Knick, now he has a chance to make a championship run with the Dallas Mavericks.
As a Knick fan I bid Amar’e Stoudemire the best of luck in Dallas and thank him for his services as a New York Knick.