Remember that time when Amar’e Stoudemire was the face of the New York Knicks? The one that would help bring stars and a championship to a franchise that was suffering?
Yeah, it does feel like ancient history.
Several injuries, and a Melo later, the once explosive player that brought hope to a Knicks fan base, is a shell of his former self. Stoudemire had a disappointing 2011-12 season in which we saw his scoring dramatically decline; his field goal percentage was way down and he wasn’t getting the same amount of shots he was used to with Carmelo Anthony now the star of the team.
So what did Stoudemire do?
He went to work. He wanted to work on his craft and add new arsenal to his game. Stoudemire went to work with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon the summer before the start of the 2012-13 season. Stoudemire worked on and improved his post game, and learned all the tricks Olajuwon used that made him so dominant when he played. And it worked. Stoudemire’s new-found tricks helped him average 14.2 points per game, with a 58 percent shooting percentage in 29 games. So, of course Stoudemire will sign up for more lessons from the former Rockets center, this summer.
Just imagine the potential the Knicks have with a healthy Amar’e Stoudemire. If he can be effective coming off the bench—like he was this past season before he got hurt—with the use of his new moves, and can complement Carmelo Anthony’s game, sky’s the limit for the New York Knicks. But before that can even be discussed, let’s see if Stoudemire can build the strength back in his knees.
Stoudemire has two years left on his five-year, $100 million contract; he’s 31 years old, and he is entering his 12th season in the NBA. He knows he has no choice but to work hard to rehab his knees back to full strength and add more to his game if he wants to stay with the Knicks and be a major contributor.