Amar’e Stoudemire: Knicks could be NBA’s best team on paper

Amare-Stoudemire-KnicksThe New York Knicks had a great chance to make the playoffs after ripping off a streak of eight-straight wins in the middle of March, but ultimately they ended up right where we all expected them to — on the outside looking in. Prior to the season, many speculated that the Knicks would be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Amar’e Stoudemire thinks they should have been.

After New York was officially eliminated from the postseason, Stoudemire talked about the expectations surrounding the team heading into the year.

“They should have been a little bit higher if you ask me,” Stoudemire said, via ESPNNewYork.com. “On paper we might be the best team in the league. We’ve got great players on this team who accomplished so much. We just couldn’t put it together.”

Best in the league? No chance. Teams like the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are way more loaded than the Knicks even on paper. That said, New York certainly had a better team on paper than the results reflected.

Stoudemire was injured for much of the year, but his play down the stretch kept the Knicks in contention. He has averaged 16.2 points and and 6.2 rebounds per game since the start of March. He simply got healthy too late.

“It’s been a tough year. It’s been a roller coaster year for us all,” Stoudemire added. “… Not making the playoffs is not an option. That’s not an option for us. We’re definitely looking to make the playoffs every year.”

The Knicks’ problems run deeper than Stoudemire’s poor health, and everyone knows it. Now that the playoffs are officially not an option, New York needs to worry about keeping Carmelo Anthony. Good luck with that.

Amar’e Stoudemire made Knicks turn off Monday Night Football game before game against Trail Blazers

Amare-Stoudemire-KnicksThe New York Knicks lost their sixth-straight game on Monday night, this time at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers. A lack of focus seems to be one of the team’s main problems, and Amar’e Stoudemire tried to do his part to break that trend before New York’s game in Portland.

According to Marc Berman of the NY Post, the Knicks were watching the Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers in the locker room before their tip-off against the Blazers. Stoudemire had to put a stop to it.

Amar’e Stoudemire seemed ready to dig the team out of the hole before tip-off. When someone put on the Monday Night Football Game between the Redskins and 49ers on a locker-room TV, Stoudemire had them shut it. ‘We’ve lost five straight games,’ he said sharply.”

Before Amar’e knew it, the Knicks had lost six straight. Stoudemire’s minutes have increased as of late and he has scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds over the past two games, but the end result has been the same.

“Frustration is at an all-time high right now,” Stoudemire said. “I worked my butt off to get into top shape. It’s not fun to lose.”

Iman Shumpert, who has suddenly found his name at the center of trade rumors, finished the game with two turnovers, no points, no rebounds and no assists. As Berman pointed out, he was out-hustled and failed to make a significant effort to recover any loose ball. After the game, Shumpert insisted the trade rumors are not a distraction.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think we’re just losing. Losing affects everybody. I don’t think trade talks do.”

Whether it’s Carmelo Anthony calling a players-only meeting or Stoudemire trying to get his teammates to focus by turning off the TV, nothing seems to be working for the Knicks. If they don’t start winning soon, there’s no telling what an already frustrated James Dolan is going to do next.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Amar’e Stoudemire looks completely lost on defense (Video)

Amar'e Stoudemire defenseAmar’e Stoudemire showed everyone on Tuesday night why he’s always had a reputation for being a poor defender.

During the third quarter of the New York Knicks’ 92-84 loss to the Detroit Pistons, Amar’e got faked out on a pump fake by Josh Smith. He ended up facing the basket waiting for the rebound on Smith’s shot. Unfortunately for Amar’e, Smith passed the ball to Peyton Siva, who took advantage of the wide open lane created by Amar’e facing the wrong freaking direction.

The best part about Amar’e getting totally turned around on that play was that he actually complimented the Knicks’ defense after the game!

“Offensively we’re not where we want to be,” Stoudemire said after the game. “The spacing is not there, the ball movement is not there. With that being said, the scoring is not there. Tonight we played a pretty good defensive game, we just couldn’t get it going offensively.”

Nobody ever accused Amar’e of having great instincts on the defensive end. Oh, and by the way, the Knicks are now 3-7.

Video via GIFD Sports

Charles Barkley: Amar’e Stoudemire has lost his talent

Amare StoudemireCharles Barkley doesn’t mince words, and he surely didn’t when talking about New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire.

During an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 Wednesday, Barkley said the Knicks are in big trouble when it comes to Stoudemire, because the forward has lost all his talent and skill.

“You all in trouble with Amar’e,” Barkley told host Mike Lupica. “I like Amar’e as a person, but I don’t see him doing anything in the NBA, to be honest with you. I think he’s lost his skill. He lost his talent. He played the game on talent when he was younger. He played the game 100 percent on talent. And now he has lost his talent and he is in serious trouble.”

Thankfully for the Knicks, Amar’e is only signed for one more season after this one. He was a risky signing to begin with because of his knee problems, and his health issues have only gotten worse. He only played in 47 games two seasons ago, 29 last year and he’s playing limited minutes this season since he’s recovering from knee surgery.

Amar’e says his goal is to be able to contribute minutes in the postseason, but I have my doubts. Barkley is probably right on about Amar’e. Knicks fans will tell you they just can’t expect to receive anything from him. Enjoy paying him that $23.4 million option next season.

Amar’e Stoudemire to judge Miss America Pageant

Amare-Stoudemire-KnicksNew York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire is more than just a professional basketball player. He also takes a great deal of pride in his sense of fashion. There have been times when we accused him of getting carried away with his passion for fashion, but it has come in handy and allowed him to score a new gig.

Stoudemire has been selected as one of the judges for this year’s Miss America Pageant on Sept. 14, according to the Knicks website. He and former ‘N Sync member Lance Bass are headlining a panel of judges next month that includes names I have never heard like violinist Joshua Bell and comedian and performer Mario Cantone.

The Miss America Pageant has been held in Las Vegas for the past six years, but it is returning to Atlantic City this year. That means Stoudemire can stay close to his team while he tries to help decide who will become the next Miss America.

Good for Amar’e. Knicks fans probably only care about him getting his knee healthy enough so that he can contribute this season, which is understandable. But if an NBA player is going to judge a contest like Miss America, it might as well be one who has the stones to wear outfits like this.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Amar’e Stoudemire wore a yarmulke while meeting with media

Amare Stoudemire yarmulke

Amar’e Stoudemire is more than embracing his Jewish roots. The New York Knicks forward was spotted wearing a yarmulke after Knicks shootaround on Saturday. ESPN New York’s Ian Begley reports that Stoudemire even told reporters “Shabbat Shalom” after meeting with them.

Not long after signing with the Knicks in 2010, Stoudemire made it known publicly that he had Jewish roots from his mother’s side of the family. He began connecting with his heritage over the next few years. He went on a trip to Israel, learned some Hebrew, experimented with a Kosher diet, and made plans to open a Hebrew school. Now he’s even wearing a yarmulke. But not just any yarmulke — the large, black velvet yarmulke is generally one worn by ultra-orthodox Jews.

In addition to the post-practice yarmulke, Stoudemire has also been spotted in the streets of New York wearing his yarmulke. Maybe this is what Amar’e was referring to when he said the Knicks had too much swag.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t show up to Al Abbas Chicken wearing the yarmulke, lest he wants this to happen:

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Amar’e Stoudemire: Knicks may have ‘too much swag’

The New York Knicks have looked like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference for much of the season, but they have struggled as of late. New York’s loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night was its fourth straight, which is the team’s longest streak of the season. The All-Star break doesn’t appear to have helped Mike Woodson’s club sort out their issues, but Amar’e Stoudemire believes he knows what the problem may be.

“We got plenty of swagger, we may have too much swag,’’ Stoudemire said after the loss, via the NY Post. “We got to get more greedy, from the standpoint of wanting to defend, wanting to win and having a sense of urgency. We have to want to win. We got to have the mentality to want to win. It don’t matter if it looks good or not. We just got to get it done. It’s not a great feeling right now.’’

The phrase “we need to get our swagger back” is probably one of the most overused in sports. The Knicks have oftentimes looked overconfident during their losing streak, which is likely what Stoudemire is referring to. The team’s shot selection has been poor, with Carmelo Anthony hitting less than 40% of his shots over the last four games. Worse yet, he is 3-for-20 from beyond the arc in the last three games.

All teams go through bad stretches. The best ones are able to respond. Eventually, the shots will start falling again for the Knicks. In the meantime, they need to bear down defensively and continue to show the type of improvement that was on display over the first half of the season.

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE