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Amar'e Stoudemire Retires from NBA: Latest Comments and Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

MIAMI,FL - APRIL 20:  Amar'e Stoudemire #5 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Charlotte Hornets during the Eastern Conference playoffs First Round Game Two on April 20, 2016 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Amar'e Stoudemire announced his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday, following a 14-year run that included six All-Star selections.

The New York Knicks' public relations department posted Stoudemire's official announcement on Twitter after the 33-year-old decided to retire as a member of the team he called home from 2010 to 2015:

NY_KnicksPR @NY_KnicksPR

Amar’e Stoudemire announced his retirement as a player in the National Basketball Association today. #OAKAAK https://t.co/GQyLRBFamV

"My heart had always remained in the Big Apple," Stoudemire said, per the team's official Twitter account:

NEW YORK KNICKS @nyknicks

.@Amareisreal is retiring a Knick: "My heart had always remained in the Big Apple." #CongratsSTAT https://t.co/36urYziiw8

The Suns released a statement on the veteran's announcement:

The Phoenix Suns family congratulates [Amar’e] Stoudemire on a remarkable NBA career. As the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year and a five-time All-Star during his time in Phoenix, Amar’e’s eight seasons with our franchise provided some of the most exciting Suns basketball this city has ever seen. Off the court, Amar’e represented himself with integrity and class every step of the way, leaving an indelible impression on countless kids in our community. We’re proud to have called Amar’e one of our own and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement. Congrats, STAT!

ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported Stoudemire "has lucrative interest from China, sources say, or could play in Israel for the team (Hapoel Jerusalem) he co-owns." But he added the big man "plans to take some time before deciding if he intends to play pro basketball abroad in the coming season or stay put."

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reported Stoudemire "wanted to come back to Suns for one final season." However, per Gambadoro, the Suns "weren't interested," so the big man retired. Gambadoro added that Stoudemire "wanted to play one more season not just in Phoenix but one more season with someone."

Stoudemire most recently suited up for the Miami Heat after signing a one-year deal with the South Beach ballers last July, but he was deployed sparingly during a season that saw him appear in just 52 games. 

However, the lack of explosiveness that defined Stoudemire throughout the final years of his career served as a stark juxtaposition to his ascent to superstardom and correspondingly dominant prime. 

Selected ninth overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2002 NBA draft, Stoudemire rocked rims and crashed the glass to the tune of 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game en route to earning 2002-03 Rookie of the Year honors. 

He proceeded to average better than 20 points per game each of the next two seasons, but microfracture knee surgery limited him to just three late-season appearances during the 2005-06 campaign. 

But unlike other high-profile players who underwent the procedure, Stoudemire bounced back in a big way, as Synergy Sports Tech noted on Twitter:  

Synergy Basketball @SynergySST

Amare Stoudemire scored 1.19 points per possession over 21.1 possessions per game in 07-08. Stephen Curry scored 1.18 over 25.5 last season.

His scoring average was north of 20 points per game during each of the next four seasons, and he was an integral component of a Suns team that lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 Western Conference Finals. 

But after watching the Suns fall one series short of NBA Finals qualification for the third time in the span of six years, Stoudemire bolted for the Big Apple in free agency. 

The start of Stoudemire's first year in New York was positively dominant, too. Before the 2011 All-Star break, the springy Stoudemire looked like a true MVP candidate, as he averaged 26.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 50.7 percent from the field. 

Amar'e Stoudemire Career Stats By Team
TeamPPGRPGBPGFG%PER
Phoenix Suns (2002-10)21.48.91.454.422.6
New York Knicks (2010-15)17.36.71.151.820.5
Dallas Mavericks (2015)10.83.70.258.122.3
Miami Heat (2015-16)5.84.30.856.617.3
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

Stoudemire's numbers took a turn for the worse from that point forward, as his knees began to fail him, and he never appeared in more than 65 games in each of the next three seasons before the Knicks waived him midway through the 2014-15 campaign. 

Stoudemire then bounced around between the Dallas Mavericks and the Heat, but he was never more than a rotational big off the bench. 

Stoudemire discussed his career on July 1, per The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears:

I'm actually very proud of my career. In my career, I've had some ups and downs. But I'm thankful that what I put into this game helped me achieve what I was able to accomplish. Hopefully, that gives me a bid into the Hall of Fame. That was my goal as a teenager, was to become a Hall of Famer. That's what I'm still striving for.

If historical trends are any indication, Stoudemire could have a good shot at enshrinement in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

According to Basketball-Reference.com's Hall of Fame probability calculator, Stoudemire ranked 19th among active players with a rating of 73 percent before the announcement. That number placed him just behind James Harden and Russell Westbrook

Once a force to be reckoned with who could slice and dice opponents as a rim-runner, post-up maven or silky pick-and-pop shooter, Stoudemire should be revered as one of the most athletically gifted and dominant bigs of his generation. 

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