CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Stoudemire Working on His Knicks Return
Other Knicks Vie for Better Health to Keep Knicks atop East
NEW YORK, (BASN) – It’s been a bitter and sometime sweet tenure for Amare Stoudemire in terms of health and wealth. Well, he already has his money in hand after signing that superbly rich, 5-year 100 million dollar contract two years ago. But his overall health is something that the Phoenix Suns had a problem with. That is why Stoudemire was allowed to leave as a free agent. His contract however is uninsured due to past knee problems.
Stoudemire is on the road to recovery after having a debridement in his right knee. He was initially expected to only miss two to three weeks after suffering a ruptured popliteal cyst. That estimate has tripled now that he went through with the procedure to remove tissue leaving some Knicks fans to fear and worry. But as Stoudemire who recently returned to full contact practice (albeit with Knick affiliate Erie BayHawks of the D-League) is almost set to return.
But, Stoudemire’s return is not without even more fears and worry. Some Knicks fans have trepidation that the chemistry (at press time the team is 19-7) will be altered. However, that uneasiness is being rebuked by the coaching staff and his teammates. Said starting point guard, Ray Felton “whether it’s starting or off the bench, he will make the adjustment.” Felton also added, “We’re going to make sure it works, [because] he ain’t going to do nothing but make us better.”
“He has the ability to get us over the hump,” future Hall-of-famer Jason Kidd said. “For us as teammates, our job is to get him in the right spots so he is successful.” Kidd had mentioned during the summer after he signed with the Knicks that he wanted to become his, “Steve Nash.”
Regardless of the current Knicks record and their surprisingly quick road to success after so many seasons in the doldrums, Stoudemire’s talent is needed. He’s big, athletic and quick. And despite his smallish frame (his waist size is less than 30 inches) he’s a strong as they come. And with more concentration, he could be a better rebounder and defender. One problem in the past is that Stoudemire would conserve his energy and fouls just scoring, therefore it looked like he couldn’t do those other things at a high level.
“We’re going to figure it out,” Felton said. “I know everybody trying to put this big knock that these guys can’t play together, Melo and Amar’e can’t play together. That’s me, Jason, Pablo [Prigioni] — that’s our job to make sure that it does happen. He’s got a great deal of talent. I know what he can do. What he can do is only going to help us.”
The Knicks also have concerns with Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby, two big players that were signed this off season to add veteran savvy and talent when needed. Both players are out with sore left feet. Camby returned to shooting the basketball and running after receiving cortisone last week and Wallace who has been diagnosed with a slight stress reaction not a fracture, is day-to-day.
Jerald L. Hoover