Amare Stoudemire has always been an extremely hard worker. The only true knock on him has been his inability, through no fault of his own, to stay healthy. After a resurgent season with the New York Knicks he now is working on reclaiming his status as an NBA All-Star.
Since entering the league in the 2002 NBA Draft, Amare Stoudemire has been an All-Star six times. However, his last appearance was in 2011. That's something he'd like to change. Stoudemire's new goal is to reclaim his All-Star status.
“My goal next year is to have an All-Star-caliber year to get back in the All-Star Game,” Stoudemire said recently on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike.” “And then be a great team player for my teammates in addition to contending for a championship.”
Stoudemire played 65 games last season. He averaging 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds on the season but was frustrated with his minutes restrictions.
However, he was able to come on strong toward the end of the season and ended up averaging 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds in March.
It will be interesting to see if Derek Fisher decides to take Mike Woodson's cautious approach with Stoudemire or allow him to play regularly from the beginning of the season. If Stoudemire's body can hold up to the torture of a full NBA season he would greatly strengthen the Knicks team. He would fit very nicely as a center in the triangle offense.
The good thing is that Stoudemire ended the season feeling good. That should allow him to work on his game instead of his body in the off-season. With his healthy history the team should still be cautious but they should be more optimistic for him heading into next season.
While it's doubtful that Stoudemire will ever reach All-Star status again there's little doubt that he was having an All-Star impact on the Knicks towards the end of the season.
While Carmelo Anthony is the best player on the roster, Stoudemire is without a doubt the emotional leader on the Knicks. When he's playing well it lifts the entire squad. When he's down and out the team tends to play that way too.
There's no way the Knicks can contend for a division title let alone an NBA title without Anthony and Stoudemire at the top of their games. Maybe being in a contract year is exactly what Stoudemire needs to reach that All-Star potential he still possesses.Amare Stoudemire, Basketball, NBA, New York, New York Knicks