Report: Amar'e Stoudemire Planning NBA Comeback Attempt After Stint in China

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2019

FILE - In this March 28, 2016, file photo, Miami Heat forward Amar'e Stoudemire shoots during warmups before the Heat met the Brooklyn Nets in an NBA basketball game, in Miami. After retiring from the NBA on July 26, Stoudemire signed a two-year contract Monday, Aug. 1, 2016,  to play for Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem. Stoudemire says it was a very emotional decision for him and his family.  (AP Photo/Joe Skipper, File)
Joe Skipper/Associated Press

Former All-Star forward Amar'e Stoudemire has reportedly returned from a stint with the Fujian Sturgeons in the Chinese Basketball Association to pursue an NBA comeback.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the update Saturday and noted Stoudemire has started working out in his native Florida while waiting for an opportunity.

The 37-year-old veteran last played in the NBA during the 2015-16 season with the Miami Heat. He helped lead Hapoel Jerusalem to an Israeli League championship in 2017 and showed he was still capable of impacting the game across 11 appearances for Fujian before returning to the United States.

He averaged 19.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

Stoudemire, who's also played for Tri-State in the BIG3 basketball league since leaving the NBA, discussed his desire to play in the NBA again in July:

Ballislife.com @Ballislife

Amar'e Stoudemire talks with @ROSGO21 about his conditioning & says he hopes to be back in the NBA. (Via @CBSSportsNet, @TheBIG3) https://t.co/2uPIoGzPV5

If signed, he'd likely play almost exclusively as a center since his range doesn't extend to the three-point line, which has almost become a prerequisite for power forwards in the current NBA.

Stoudemire isn't the explosive, dynamic athlete he was during his peak years with the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, but his play in China suggests he could still be a useful bench asset for a contender.

It's unclear whether he'll return to the Sturgeons, whose 2019-20 season is ongoing, if he can't find an NBA offer.