When Amar’e Stoudemire signed with the New York Knicks before the 2011 season, it seemed like a match made in heaven.
A Knicks team desperate for superstar talent and an explosive power forward who was finally getting the opportunity to be the man, becoming the leader of his own team.
While things started off great in the Big Apple for Stoudemire, the last year hasn’t exactly worked out the way either party likely envisioned things.
From Stoudemire’s rash of injuries to not being able to mesh well with Carmelo Anthony and his latest escapade following Monday’s G
ame 2 loss to the Miami Heat (when Stoudemire punched a glass casing surrounding a fire extinguisher, causing lacerations on his left hand that required stitches), things clearly aren’t working out at all.
Monday’s selfish act, though out of frustration, was still selfish, and it could end up being the final straw in a marriage that started out so well.
His production is down, averaging only 17.5 PPG, his lowest total since the 2005-06 season, when he first hurt his knee—but what he did Monday was hang his teammates out to dry, and that is inexcusable by any standards.
You could say that punching the glass was the first time Stoudemire crashed the glass this entire series, pulling down a mere six rebounds per game, but as ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begleyreported, Stoudemire is “almost certain” to miss Game 3 on Thursday in New York, and there is a possibility that Stoudemire could miss the rest of the series.
“I am so mad at myself right now,” read a post on Stoudemire’s verified account. “I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions. headed home for a new start.”
“We all have done thing out of anger that we regret. That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This too shall pass.”
Unfortunately, sorry doesn’t cut it in this case.
With one punch of the glass, Stoudemire let his teammates and Knicks fans everywhere down. It was doubtful the Knicks could win this series anyway, but their slim chances dropped even more with Stoudemire watching in street clothes.
While this is a short-term problem, the long-term issues are the more concerning ones.
He hasn’t meshed well with Anthony, or Tyson Chandler, for that matter. You could take this as a lost year, but have there been any signs that this is going to work out in the long run?
That’s very debatable. Especially when you look at Anthony’s success playing the 4 while Stoudemire was out with a back injury.
The easiest thing to say is to deal him for a few missing parts on this team, but that’s easier said than done, given the fact that his body is breaking down and he’s still owed $60 million over the next three years.
That makes any thought of a trade very unlikely.
Who knows? Maybe Stoudemire comes back healthy next season and the Knicks figure things out and start on their path to contending.
But one thing is for sure—the marriage between the Knicks and Stoudemire just isn’t working right now, and something has to be done to get it going in the right direction.