5 Reasons New York Knicks Should Hang On to Amar'e Stoudemire
Amar'e Stoudemire has been playing incredible basketball since his return from that nagging knee injury, and the New York Knicks' management need to keep him involved in the team's plans for the future—at least for the duration of his contract.
He's got a lot left to offer the Knickerbockers, and he should be able to bring a lot to the table.
Although Carmelo Anthony has taken most of the spotlight from Amar'e, he's still the Knicks' second option, and he's a good second option at that.
The power forward is looking rejuvenated on the court getting fed by Raymond Felton again. It's no surprise that STAT is thriving off the bench simply because that's the kind of player Amar'e is; he can do anything he puts his mind to, and that's why fans enjoy having him here in New York playing in the Mecca of Basketball, Madison Square Garden.
But why exactly should New York hold on to Amar'e Stoudemire?
Success with Raymond Felton
In 2010, Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton paired up in New York City to form a tandem that was extremely successful on the pick-and-roll. The duo put the Knicks back on the map—and it all began when Amar'e signed with New York that summer.
During that year, Stoudemire had his best season since 2005-06. He was able to average 25.3 points per game, while also grabbing 8.2 boards a night.
This was the Amar'e that the Knicks were hoping for, but when Felton was traded that February for Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire's production decreased as he didn't have a true point guard feeding him.
Although this season started a little later for Amar'e because of that knee injury, Raymond Felton has the opportunity to bring Stoudemire back to 2010 form, and in due time, he will!
The two have developed great chemistry, and that will benefit this team tremendously.
Excelling off the Bench
When Mike Woodson wouldn't commit to Amar'e Stoudemire being in the starting lineup, everyone's eyes glistened because it meant that Amar'e would be coming off the bench and not disrupting the team chemistry.
When Amar'e accepted his role, it was no surprise that he was going to thrive. He's currently averaging 21.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes, and his field-goal percentage is sitting at a pretty 56 percent.
Al Iannazzone of Newsday caught up with Amar'e Stoudemire to discuss his bench role, and STAT said that the game has gotten to be "easy."
“The game is becoming easy,” Stoudemire said. “I think with the addition of a post game everything else is becoming easy. Players are having a hard time figuring out how to play me in the post. There are a few moves that they can’t guard so that allows me to have easy baskets. But also, my teammates like Raymond and those guys are finding me in certain areas. So it’s a combination of everything.”
If it isn't broken, don't fix it. Amar'e is thriving off the bench and giving the Knicks good production in the second unit, so how is New York better off without him?
He Still Has Some Good Ball Left in Him
Amar'e is only 30 years old, and although he's has a track record of injuries, he still has some good basketball left in him to offer the Knicks organization.
As mentioned in the previous slide, Stoudemire credits his teammates for his success. He now has that point guard that he thrived with in 2010, and Raymond Felton could be here for some time, so Amar'e has the tools to find that success again and excel individually.
No, the Knicks won't get the Amar'e that averages 25 points a game. Instead, they'll have a critical role player that knows his job and does it well on the way to achieving a common goal—an NBA title.
The Return Wouldn't Be Much
The biggest misconception of Amar'e Stoudemire is that he's "washed up," and who would want to gamble on someone whose knees are not insure? I find that to be extremely unfair because Amar'e has been a catalyst to this Knicks team throughout his time here.
Don't get me wrong, Amar'e has been sidelined numerous times with back injuries, knee injuries and the infamous "punching a fire extinguisher" incident, but even the elite do and say stupid stuff.
In retrospect, Stoudemire has been successful during his stay here in New York. He's averaging 18.8 points in his two-and-a-half seasons here in blue-and-orange, all while shooting an efficient 51 percent from the field.
No other team is willing to take on the remainder of Stoudemire's contract, nor are they willing to chance their team's chemistry seeing how long it took for Carmelo Anthony to gel with him.
New York won't get nearly as much as Stoudemire's actually worth, and for that he's better off in a Knicks uniform.
Fans Like STAT
Amar'e Stoudemire made the jump to New York when they had just finished 11th in the Eastern Conference—not even cracking 30 wins.
He holds a special place in the hearts of many Knicks fans, and he fills some of the seats in Madison Square Garden, too.
When Amar'e made that jump to the biggest stage in sports, fans were relieved that they finally had a star to cheer for. He made the jump with no guarantees from any other NBA baller, and it was him that made Knicks basketball relevant and bearable to watch again.
To see him go out would be hurtful to those that welcomed him with open arms back in 2010, and the fans should be enough for New York to hang on to Amar'e.