Nick Laham/Getty Images
STAT has more talent than most any Knick to ever pull on the uniform.
2011-2013 Stats: 20.9 PPG 7.5 RPG 1.7 APG 1.4 BPG .506 FG%
Some could make the argument that Amar'e Stoudemire doesn't have the Knicks accolades to stack up with other New York greats. If you look at the timeline of STAT's brief but eventful Knicks career, you'll realize this is exactly where he belongs.
Stoudemire was the first impact player to sign with the Knicks after their 29-win season in 2009-10. It was his arrival that marked the revival of the franchise's success, and Amar'e was thriving in the biggest role of his career.
Though his first three months as a Knick, MVP chants were raining down on STAT. Prior to the arrival of Carmelo Anthony after the All-Star break, Stoudemire was among the league-leaders in scoring at 26.1 points per game on 50-percent shooting, and added more than eight rebounds to boot.
After 'Melo's arrival, Stoudemire still managed to get 18 shots up on average and net more than 22 points per contest. More importantly though, Amar'e was able to dodge injuries that too often hampered his career to that point. Until the postseason.
STAT made it through the regular season more or less unscathed physically, but suffered a back injury against the Boston Celtics in the teams' playoff matchup. Amar'e was never the same in that series, and the carryover lasted well into the next season.
Stoudemire's sophomore Knicks campaign was the lockout shortened 2011-12 season. To compensate for the back injury, he bulked up and added 15 pounds of muscle, primarily to his back. Amar'e soon found out that the added bulk restricted his mobility and stole his lift. It took most of the season, but by mid-March, Stoudemire was back at a comfortable weight and appeared to be his dominant self again.
Then the back acted up again.
He made it back in time for the postseason, where he played decently, but we're all too familiar with the fire extinguisher incident. The Knicks were handed the second first-round playoff exit in as many years.
This season, Amar'e was supposed to come back a new player. He and Carmelo finally had a full training camp together, and Stoudemire was at a comfortable playing weight. All signs were pointing to a resurgence until he was bit by the injury bug once again. A "knee bruise" soon turned into knee surgery, and Amar'e was forced to sit out the first two months of his third Knicks season.
Amar'e then faced a task that had never been thrown his way until this season, his 11th. A 30-year-old Stoudemire was being asked to accept a reserve role for the first time ever, as to not intrude on the existing starters' success. Putting any existing ego aside, he accepted Mike Woodson's proposal, proving that Stoudemire wants nothing more than for the Knicks to be a winning group.
And the cherry on top of the humble sundae? Amar'e is producing at one of the highest efficiencies of his career.
He's averaging just 23 minutes per game, but STAT's numbers normalize to 22 points and eight rebounds per 36 minutes. His PER of 22 isn't far off his mark from his 2010-11 MVP-esque run, and the trio of Stoudemire, Anthony and Tyson Chandler is producing greater than Mike D'Antoni could ever orchestrate it to.
All things considered, Stoudemire is a great talent that's fallen under some unfortunate circumstances. But considering the measures he's taken to ensure that his wants and the Knicks' success never clash, I'm not hesitating to include him on this team of all-time Knicks greats.