NBA Rumor: Amare Stoudemire Free Agency

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Amar’e Stoudemire rejoining Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv is a matter of time, according to Israeli outlet ONE. Stoudemire, 37, helped the Israeli powerhouse to its latest domestic championship earning the Finals MVP honors. He has agreed to terms for a second stint, notes the report. Both sides expressed willingness to renew their contract after the late conclusion of the 2019-20 season last July, and a few months forward are projected on the same track.

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Six-time NBA All-Star forward Amar’e Stoudemire has signed a deal to play for Fujian Sturgeons in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, the team announced. The announcement came approximately a week after Stoudemire departed the United States for Hong Kong, where he was greeted by team officials and then worked out for a few days. He has since arrived in Fujian to join the rest of the team for training and media day activities. At the media day photo shoot, Stoudemire was seen posing with traditional Chinese cultural elements.

Amar’e Stoudemire will not be taking any wine baths in preparation for suiting up for the Knicks again. The team has decided not to make a move for Stoudemire, according to an NBA source. Stoudemire staged a workout for 15 teams, the Knicks among them, in Las Vegas on Monday. Stoudemire, 36, is attempting to make a comeback and said Tuesday on “MSG 150” he is down to his lowest-ever playing weight at 236 pounds. The eccentric former All-Star used to take wine baths to keep himself fresh as a Knick.

“My body feels amazing, so we’ll see if the opportunity becomes a reality,” Stoudemire told “MSG 150.” “A lot of the teams have a lot of young players and a lot of players that can learn how to train, how to become professionals and how to become great basketball players. And leadership goes a long way with teams in order to get from a playoff team to a contending championship team. From that standpoint I have a lot to offer. And also as a basketball player, I still have a lot of game left. I can help a team in any way they need.”

Stoudemire feels his “leadership quality’’ will be key to joining an NBA squad. The Knicks may not have an open roster spot if they sign both Reggie Bullock, whose physical raised a red flag, and Marcus Morris. “My body feels amazing, so we’ll see if the opportunity becomes a reality,” Stoudemire said on the show. “A lot of the teams have a lot of young players and a lot of players that can learn how to train, how to become professionals and how to become great basketball players. And leadership goes a long way with teams in order to get from a playoff team to a contending championship team. “From that standpoint, I have a lot to offer. And also as a basketball player, I still have a lot of game left. I can help a team in any way they need.”

Earlier in the day Amare Stoudemire posted on Instagram a message to the Hapoel Jerusalem fans that this may be his last home game for the club which raised eyebrows throughout the Israeli Basketball world. What was the post about? Is he retiring? Is he going to another team? Will he go and learn Torah full time? Who knew! The Sports Rabbi had to find out and find out we did as we were able to speak to STAT following the game beneath the PAIS Arena stands. “It is what it is. Whatever I posted that’s what I was thinking. I was just reflecting on the great times I’ve had here in Jerusalem and I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to get a deal done with this team. But I’ll be playing for sure next year.” Would Amare like to potentially play in the Euroleague? “It’s always about competing at a high level. There’s always minicamps in the NBA and there’s always Euroleague teams, there’s always high level basketball and to challenge myself to play at a high level is always the goal.”

For the player who competed in the “BIG3” tournament last summer. it’s obvious that he still has enough gas in the tank, even for an NBA return: “I was very close to returning to the NBA, many teams were interested, but I did not want to wait any longer. There can always be teams in the NBA that will need me, and I’m always ready. If I stayed in the US and waited, it would have happened and I would have gone back to the league. Now the training camps are starting and I wanted to continue practicing and playing, so I came back here. I have an opt-out option in my contract which can be used during the season”.

Here’s what the six-time All-Star also said about European basketball and his experience in Israel. On possibly playing in the ACB: “I would love to play in the Spanish League because it’s very competitive. It’s possible if a team is interested. In Spain, there are many young people who want to play in the NBA. And the atmosphere is incredible. I played with Hapoel Jerusalem in the EuroCup semifinals in Valencia and the fans were incredible. Then I said I wish I could play there someday. I thank the Spanish fans who have followed my career.”

Stoudemire will explore three options, and retirement is one of them. The 34-year-old still has pangs for one more go-round in the NBA. “To play and win a championship my first year there, I could just call it quits and leave as a champion,’’ said Stoudemire, who never made it to the NBA Finals. “That could be an option. Another option is maybe to play with a team that needs quality veteran leadership here in the NBA. That could be an option. Or I could go back and defend the title for a back-to-back. I have time to think about it. Those are my three options.”

The big adjustments for Stoudemire have come at his workplace, where he often plays in small gyms for less than 1,000 fans. Even as a veteran of international competition, he is still picking up on the rules and nuances of Euro-ball, the niceties of officiating, an Italian coach who speaks mostly with his hands. And Stoudemire’s teammates are . . . “Let’s put it this way,” he says, after searching for diplomatic words, “it’s more of a teaching situation. Like, Here’s where you go on a pick-and-roll.”

Stoudemire: I may be retiring from the NBA, but I’m not saying goodbye to basketball just yet. My next step is playing for Hapoel Jerusalem, one of the top teams in Europe. This isn’t about collecting a paycheck overseas, though; it’s a spiritual journey, too. The Scripture speaks about Jerusalem as a holy place, and I can feel that whenever I’m in the city. This is a chance for me to be a better husband and a better father, to help me lead my family into righteousness. The opportunity to play there, and grow as a player and person, is a blessing. As my father used to tell me, “The sky’s the limit.”

Amare Stoudemire: Then there’s Steve Nash. Before he arrived, we already had a pretty strong nucleus in myself, Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion and Leandro Barbosa. When we brought Steve on board, we reached a whole new level. Everyone else fed off him. Once you have a pass-first point guard, a guy who just focuses on getting the ball to where it needs to be —who’s just making his teammates better — it opens up the entire game. We redefined the game of basketball. Before us, the center position was more like Shaq or Karl Malone. We didn’t have that size, but we had speed. Mike D’Antoni made a decision to go small. Teams weren’t ready for it. They weren’t ready for Seven Seconds or Less.

Stoudemire: Can’t forget about the big fella, neither: Shaq. I idolized him growing up. And I got to play with him in Phoenix in ’08 and ’09. We did work, too. I was putting up insane numbers thanks to him and all the attention teams had to give him. Then there’s Dirk Nowitzki. The toughest player I ever had to guard. That one-legged fadeaway? There’s just no stopping it. Luckily when we were on the same team for a few months in 2015, I didn’t have to. I could play off him and just watch him work.

Stoudemire: Last, but definitely not least, Carmelo Anthony. I think he’s the best pure scorer in the NBA. It just comes so easy to him. When he’s at his best, he’s playing an entirely different game than the rest of us. That night when he scored 62 at the Garden, that was easy for him. He could have gotten 70, maybe more. He just flowed out there on the court. That’s what the game is all about, getting to a level like Carmelo is on. When a great player performs like that, it’s fun to watch. I should know, I was there.

Eric Pincus: The New York Knicks signed Amar’e Stoudemire on Tuesday to a 1-yr $1.5 min contract, then waived him – researching if any was guaranteed – Roman Sprikut: it’ll be so funny if today someone (like, i dunno, Bucks or Pistons) makes waiver claim and then asks him to report to the team. – Eric Pincus: Technically a team would be able to claim Amar’e.

Stoudemire said he considered signing with Phoenix last summer but wanted to be on a title contender. “That’s why I chose Miami but Phoenix is still not ruled out,” Stoudemire said. “I have a lot of basketball left in me.” Stoudemire’s Friday return was sentimental for a Suns run that began as Rookie of the Year and ended with five All-Star seasons. “I have so many good memories here,” Stoudemire said. “It feels like home. It truly does. I look around and see everything around the arena, the practice court and the city and it feels like have a connection that I can’t break. I feel comfortable. “
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