Amar'e Stoudemire has announced his retirement from the NBA after signing a contract with the New York Knicks.
"I want to thank Mr. Dolan, Phil [Jackson] and Steve [Mills] for signing me so that I can officially retire as a New York Knick," Stoudemire said in a release.
"I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise and we did just that. Carmelo [Anthony], Phil and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year's acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again. Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained in the Big Apple. Once a Knick, Always a Knick," he said.
Stoudemire averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game over 846 games for Phoenix, New York, Dallas and Miami.
"As a member the Knicks, Stoudemire averaged 17.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 255 games and helped win the 2012-13 Atlantic Division title. From Nov. 28-Dec. 15, 2010, Stoudemire broke the franchise's 48-year record held by Willie Naulls by scoring 30-plus-points in nine consecutive games," the Knicks said in an announcement.
"For parts of six years, Amar'e Stoudemire was the face of the New York Knicks franchise because of his excellence on the court and his dedication to our community and our fans across the world," Mills said. "When Amar'e asked us to retire as a Knick, we were honored to oblige."
Interesting that Amar'e would choose to retire a Knick when his best years were definitely in Phoenix with Steve Nash. Amar'e was at the heart of Mike D'Antoni's innovative offense, and proved small centers could be dominant in pick and roll.
Amar'e's career in New York was more of a disappointment due to health issues and a large contract, but fans didn't treat him like a Eddy Curry. He was a beloved figure by many fans who feel his legacy, in part, was the moment he declared the Knicks were back in 2010.
Stoudemire was a fan favorite, despite his continued setbacks. He wanted to help the Knicks achieve greatness just as badly as the fan base wanted to see him do it.
He certainly had his moments. His eight game streak of 30 points or more still stands as a pleasant highlight. Though New York didn't quite reach the plateau everyone expected while Stoudemire was here, it's well worth giving the man otherwise known as STAT credit where it's due.
It was Stoudemire who arrived in New York City and declared "the Knicks are back." From there on out, the team tried to make improvements, and in came Carmelo Anthony. Without STAT, Melo probably wouldn't have been interested in coming to town.
If nothing else, Stoudemire was a courteous and considerate player to both the media and fans. He was an easy guy to root for. His Knicks tenure ended rather abruptly, but this gesture could be his way of making up for it. He wants to be remembered as a Knick.