It appears that Amar'e Stoudemire is open to revisiting the past while looking towards the future. According to senior NBA writer Jared Zwerling, the 32-year-old power forward wouldn't mind playing for the New York Knicks or Phoenix Suns again. Though he's also up for returning to the Dallas Mavericks for another season.
Stoudemire's willingness to return to New York is a bit curious. On one hand, he loved playing for the Knicks and his decision to negotiate a midseason buyout was done with a "heavy heart."
"I feel truly blessed to have been able to play for the incredible New York fans, Mr. Dolan, my coaches, teammates and the entire Knicks organization for the past five years," Stoudemire said in a statement released by the team. "I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to contribute positively on the court and in the community.
"Although I leave the Knicks with a heavy heart, I wish the organization the best of luck. Once a Knick always a Knick."
On the other hand, Phil Jackson has said that it was Stoudemire who first broached the topic of a buyout, and all reports have indicated that the veteran forward wanted an opportunity to play for a championship contender.
A move back to New York would be regressive. He's another year older, and so is Carmelo Anthony. The team has a high draft pick, but is still years away from contention – even in a soft Eastern Conference. It would essentially be version 2.0 of a squad that has regressed for the past two seasons. Is losing with the Knicks more palatable than making the playoffs with, say, the Mavericks? Maybe it's the siren call of New York City life away from the court.
As for Phoenix, that makes a little more sense. Mainly due to the Suns' training staff, which is highly regarded throughout the league. It wouldn't be a return to the Six Second or Less glory years, but maybe the trainers can help lengthen the back-end of Stoudemire's career – he's only played more than 60 games once in the past five seasons. Again, though, it's not as if he'd be contending for a championship.
With the Mavericks looking to either hold on to Tyson Chandler, or perhaps signing a big like DeAndre Jordan this summer, Stoudemire could remain an impact bench player for a team looking to make one last push in the waning years of the Dirk Nowitzki era. Much like Phoenix, Dallas has an excellent training staff who could help maximize Stoudemire's productivity at this point in his career. Of the three teams mentioned, staying put in Dallas appears to be the most logical move if contending is priority No. 1.
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