Despite his declining production and busted up knees, Amare Stoudemire doesn’t think this is his last NBA season, and the future can be with his current team (the Dallas Mavericks), going back to the Phoenix Suns or other options that have more to do with championship chances.
At 32, Stoudemire isn’t playing a lot, but he’s actually quite useful offensively in the minutes he’s getting. Since signing with the Dallas Mavericks, Stoudemire is averaging 9.8 points in only 15.8 points per game, and his per minute and per possession numbers are very impressive.
After a recent loss Stoudemire was fuming at the carelessness of his own teammates, maybe seeing this as a rare opportunity to contend for a title in the short time he has left in the league. He doesn’t seem like a player on the verge of retiring.
No, no, there’s no way. There’s a lot of youth in these legs. I have a lot of competitive juices still flowing in me. This isn’t it for me, for sure. There’s a lot of high-level basketball left in me. I feel competitive. I have faith in my body, what I can do on a basketball court on a consistent basis. The next step should be the best step, because I want to make sure I leave the game on a high note. That’s the ultimate goal. This summer is another opportunity for me to play for a team that has confidence in my game, that believes in me, that has the understanding that I’m willing to compete at a high level for years to come.
Stoudemire is still useful in the right role, and his defensive inferiority can be hidden next to the right players and in the right lineups. He isn’t the same player the Knicks landed in 2010; an All-Star, a superstar. His decline from great to mediocre was really quick but he has hit a reasonable plateau where he’s “stuck” at for a number of years.
If he can remain relatively healthy, there’s no reason for Stoudemire to retire, because big men who can score without having to worry about their minutes are hard to find.