By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
STAT the Key Knicks Success
NEW YORK, NY (BASN) – It has been well documented of the trials and tribulations of New York Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire this past lock out season. His back went out during the season; he severely cut his hand after a Playoff loss to the Miami Heat to which he had to receive close to 100 stitches, and most sadly, he lost his older brother (his best friend) Hazell to an automobile accident. To say it was a trying year for STAT is an understatement.
But if one ever got to know Stoudemire as a player, you’d know that he’s been one of the most prideful athletes in the entire NBA over the last decade. Whenever his back (no pun intended) was up against a wall and he had an off year because of an injury, (eye and knee) he’s always come back the following fully played season with vengeance.
STAT’s always been known as a hard and dedicated off season worker and he’s always pushed himself to come up with a new or vastly improved skill set to make him more dangerous to his opponents. This off season was no different. With the urging of newly minted Knicks head Mike Woodson, STAT undertook tutelage of one the NBA’s best and most unorthodox post players in Hall-of-Fame center Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon down in Houston, Texas.
Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are a few that have gone to Hakeem’s 500 acre ranch for help with post their moves. And they all came away better players. Matter of fact, LeBron employed his post up game during The Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the results garnered him his first NBA Championship as well as Finals MVP.
So NY Knicks fans should be encouraged with what STAT has done this past off season. For one, most if not all of the aforementioned superstars that worked with Hakeem toiled for 3 to 4 days. STAT however stayed for two whole weeks and didn’t miss a day. And for another, STAT appears to be totally injury free. The back problems he had last year seems to be a thing of the past as STAT worked with not only a nutritionist, but a physical therapist as well as a person athletic trainer. Talk about dedication to his craft, STAT could be setting a standard by which others could follow. Not to mention opening the floodgates by which other NBA players will gladly follow.
If STAT who averaged a pedestrian (for him) 17.5 point and 7.5 rebounds per game last year — after averaging a robust 25 the prior year – comes back and is his killer and dominant self and his post up game is as unstoppable as his mid-range game and his pick and roll exploits, the Knicks could make more than a lot of noise this up coming season, there can actually be some hardware involved.