Amar'e Stoudemire indicated last season many times that he still had plenty of basketball life in his legs. After having a strong finish to the season, he finally hopes to build that into an All-Star year next season.
“My goal next year is to have an All-Star-caliber year to get back in the All-Star Game,” said Stoudemire. " “No doubt in my mind I want to get back to that level of just three short years ago. For sure my goal is to return to the All-Star Game and compete for a championship in the postseason.’’
New York needs Stoudemire to play at that kind of level if the team hopes to have any success, provided the fact that Carmelo Anthony decides to stay with the New York Knickerbockers. The team will not make any major moves until the summer of 2015 when they will have about $60 million in contracts coming off the books. Stoudemire is one of those contracts that will come off the books.
Last week, he declined to exercise his early termination option and return to the Knicks for the 2014-15 season to finish out the final year of his five-year, $100 million deal. He will be payed $23.4 million for the 2014-15 season. If Stoudemire can fulfill his goal of returning to the All-Star game, then the fact by paying him almost a quarter of a $100 million won't be so bad
He was still very productive last season as he played in 65 games, averaging 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds.He had started the season very carefully on a minutes restriction about 20 minutes to help preserve the health of his knees'. As a result, he came on strong toward the end of the season. With New York making a late push toward the playoffs, he played his best basketball of the season as he averaged 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds during the month of March.
Stoudemire believes he is a very good fit for the triangle offense that will be introduced by new head coach Derek Fisher.
“With the triangle offense, it’s probably the best situation for all of us,’’ Stoudemire said. “We get a good system we can run and stay consistent on. I’ve adjusted to any system I’ve played in. It won’t be a problem.’’
The good news for Stoudemire and the Knicks is that he will spend the summer trying to working on his game, instead of trying to rehab from another injury or surgery.
“My focus is at a high level right now,” Stoudemire said. “My body feels great, and I’m out to prove the doubters wrong.”