Amar'e Stoudemire would accept a role as the New York Knicks' sixth man if asked, two sources with knowledge of Stoudemire's thinking told ESPNNewYork.com.Stoudemire is not expected to return to the team for another two weeks at the earliest.
"All he cares about right now is helping the team and winning," said one source, who has been around Stoudemire regularly in recent weeks. "He'd be fine with coming off the bench if that's what they want."
First, I'm still a little unnerved by the whole ruptured cyst thing. For starters, it's gross, and it's also the kind of bad luck that makes you shake your head as a sports fan and wonder if the universe simply hates you. It's a little like when Ike Davis' 2012 was slowed down because of Valley Fever, as though that were a real thing. Sometimes, whatever can go wrong, does go wrong, or however that saying goes.
I'm of the mind that bringing Stoudemire off the bench to start sounds like an ideal way to incorporate him into what the team has going without causing much of a disruption. It would allow the Knicks to ease him back into the mix, while also giving him more room to operate as he tries to get acclimated to the season, but I'm not totally sure I see it as a permanent solution.
There's a host of statistical evidence that the Melo, Chandler, Stoudemire pairing just hasn't worked to date, but even if by bringing Amar'e off the bench you reduce the minutes that he and Anthony are getting in each other's way, at some point these three are going to have to play effectively together if the Knicks are ever going to be a legitimate contending team.
Obviously, Stoudemire had hoped his improved post game studied under the tutelage of Hakeem Olajuwon would help, something we've been unable to see in action as he's recovered from injury. And while many are already dreaming of a way to trade out from under the forward's rather bloated contract -- something that may not be even remotely possible -- I would still like to see him in action this year before making a definitive judgement.
I understand fully the ways in which basketball is not just about acquiring talent, but about how that talent meshes together, and that perhaps this threesome just mixes like a bologna, hamster and cheese whiz sandwich, but I'd still like a better look at this so-called "Big Three" we've put together before deciding it's completely doomed. Can we just see it? Can we see the full starting lineup for an extended period of time without injury, coaching change, or some other unseen calamity?
Sure, many would say there's already a sizable body of evidence at hand, but I'd still like to get a more sustained look before deciding it's a failed marriage, and filing for the eventual ugly divorce.