Amar’e Stoudemire hadn’t attended an NBA game this season until the Knicks called and asked him to come to the Garden on Tuesday to light their ceremonial Hanukkah menorah.
“I haven’t been back in a while, especially as a fan. It feels a little different,” Stoudemire said before the Knicks’ overtime win over the Lakers. “I’m excited about it. It’s going to be good to watch these guys tonight.
“I miss New York itself like you wouldn’t believe. As far as playing, I haven’t started missing the game yet. I don’t have the itch to want to play. I don’t really miss playing at the moment. I feel like I’m very content with the way I’m retired. I think that’s allowing me to be with OK with not playing.”
Amar’e Stoudemire played for the Knicks from 2010 until he was bought out in 2015.
(Sipkin, Corey/New York Daily News)
The six-time NBA All-Star finished his playing career last season in Israel and won the Israeli Premier League championship with Hapoel Jerusalem B.C., of which he was a part-owner.
Stoudemire played for the Knicks from 2010 until he was bought out in 2015, before finishing the NBA portion of his 14-year career with Dallas and Miami, where he currently resides.
Asked about the departures this offseason of Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire replied: “I really didn’t see a lot of that stuff. I was overseas and a lot of times with the games they’d come on eight hours behind so I wasn’t able to catch any of that stuff. So it is what it is.
“I never did understand what was going to happen once I left so I just stayed out of it. I was focused on what trying to figure out what I was going to do as far as my career. My goal was to win a championship. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get that done in the NBA. But I got a championship. So I was able to accomplish all my goals as a basketball player and I feel very satisfied about that.”
(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Stoudemire, 35, claimed that he’s exchanged texts with Anthony since the latter’s trade to Oklahoma City, but the former teammates haven’t spoken otherwise.
“Whatever happens, hopefully it works out for the best for both parties,” Stoudemire said. “That’s how I felt when I decided to go play in Dallas, I wanted to make sure it was best for both parties. I think both parties are satisfied with what took place.”
Enes Kanter, who missed three games in late November with back spasms, didn’t play in the fourth quarter or overtime because his back remains an issue, Jeff Hornacek acknowledged.
“There were times we tried to put in Enes,” Hornacek said. “Enes, we gotta give that guy a ton of credit. You can just watch him run…He’s trying his best to run, but you saw on that fast-break layup (in the third quarter), it’s hard for him to go, that back is bothering him.”