Amar'e Stoudemire Spoke with 'A Few' NBA Teams, Hopes to Play in 2018-19 Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

DETROIT, MI - JULY 13:  Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of Tri-State dunks the ball past Reggie Evans #30 of the 3 Headed Monsters during BIG3 - Week Four at Little Caesars Arena on July 13, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Former NBA star and current BIG3 player Amar'e Stoudemire told TMZ Sports he intends to return to the NBA this season and has spoken to "a few teams" about making a comeback. 

"My goal is to come back to the NBA for sure," he said. "That's my goal. That's what I'm training for, what I'm striving for. And the BIG3 is a great platform for me to stay in shape."

Stoudemire revealed his talks with NBA teams have been "shallow," however, with franchises focused on free agency.

"I'm just being patient right now and keeping myself in shape so that when that time comes, I'll be ready to go," he said. 

He also noted he didn't have a preference for where he played in the NBA, but he does believe he'll be on a roster next season. Finally, he revealed Nate Robinson is trying to make a return to the league, adding he believes he still has the chops to do so. 

Stoudemire, 35, last played in the NBA in the 2015-16 season for the Miami Heat, averaging 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. The six-time All-Star and 2006-07 first-team All-NBA selection played a season overseas in Israel for Hapoel Jerusalem, and he's returned to three-on-three basketball in Ice Cube's BIG3.

"My body just started to feel so good that I thought I have to make it back to the NBA," Stoudemire told Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. "I retired early to live overseas. I always wanted to live in Israel for one year. I retired early to accomplish that, but now that I accomplished that, I want to make my way back to the NBA."

He added he would be happy to give a team 15-20 minutes in a reserve role.