By, Aaron Kopperl – Knickswag Contributor
In a manner all too similar to the 2011-2012 season, Amar’e Stoudemire is facing another serious injury that will keep him sidelined until at least the start of the postseason. Apparently, whenever Amar’e feels any “soreness” these days, that’s basically code for “your seasons over, STAT”. Stoudemire had knee debridement surgery on his right knee, which is the same procedure that kept him out until New Year’s except, in that instance, it was on his left knee. Now people are starting to wonder if Amar’e’s days in New York are limited, as his body continues to gradually turn to $100 million dust. Well, it does sound like a good idea to part ways with a physically deteriorating former star who signed an uninsurable max contract, but it’d be hard to imagine a team stupid enough to trade for him at this point. Amar’e may become more of a trade chip in the final year of his deal in the 2014-2015 season when he becomes a $20 million expiring contract, but that’s still a full season and half away.
With each injury that Amar’e is dealt with, it becomes less and less likely that he’ll return to his MVP-caliber form that swept New York by storm when he first arrived in 2010. He was already reduced to a 7th man role with a 30 minute limit. The real shame of it all is that Amar’e works so hard to keep his body in shape with his vegan diet and he worked so vigorously with Hakeem Olajuwon last summer to develop a post-game, which the Knicks desperately needed.
It was so fun and exciting to watch STAT put opponents “in the blender” with his version of the Dream Shake and then slam it down ferociously with one hand in the 29 games he played this season. Sure, we may very well see those moves again next season when he’s on an even shorter minute restriction and every time he does those moves, it will just serve as a sad reminder of how skilled and gifted this man truly is and what a terrible shame it is that he can never stay healthy.
However, enough of this sad talk about Amar’e. Before you call Glen Grunwald up on your iPhone and demand him to trade STAT, let’s take a minute to remember everything he did for this Knicks franchise. Let’s not forget how much of a horrendous embarrassment the Knicks were for most of the 21st century when Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry were our stars. Those were truly some dark days. In the summer of 2010, Amar’e saved the Knicks franchise by signing a max contract to put the Knicks back on the map. Sure, the contract was far too long and far too lucrative,but it had to be done.
Looking back, the Knicks would be far better off if they had retained David Lee and signed him to a max contract and let Amar’e sign elsewhere. However, no true Knicks fan can truly say they would be better off, because if Amar’e hadn’t signed with the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t have demanded a trade to New York. Amar’e and Melo, the best buddies, schemed to be together. If Amar’e hadn’t come to New York, we may have seen Melo dealt to the Brooklyn Nets.
Overall, it seems Amar’e’s best days are far behind him and he will never be that star player back when he first signed, but before you condemn the man and call him everything that is wrong with this team, just take a minute to think about where this franchise would be if Amar’e didn’t, as he once put it, “Bring the Knicks back”.
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