Reports surfaced last week that Amar’e Stoudemire would be willing to come off the bench for the New York Knicks upon his return to action, which is set for Christmas day.
“All he cares about right now is helping the team and winning,” said one source. “He’d be fine with coming off the bench if that’s what they want.”
This sounds legitimate, since the source that was quoted has been with Stoudemire regularly in recent weeks as he rehabbed his knee after microscopic surgery four weeks ago. And, as a Knicks fan, I am rejoicing.
Stoudemire has always been a bit of a diva, getting upset about his touches, as well as other trivial complaints that have come up over time. However, if he is serious about coming off the bench in a reserved role, the Knicks will be a favorite to win the NBA Championship.
Those three teams won’t have the depth that New York will have with Stoudemire in the second unit, nor will any other team in the league. At full health, the Knicks bench will be far and above the best in the NBA.
Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Steve Novak, Stoudemire, and Rasheed Wallace will be coming off the bench, relieving the usual starters. And, surprisingly, there often won’t be that much of a drop off in production.
I really hope that Stoudemire, who seems to cancel out Carmelo Anthony’s ability when on the floor together, is serious about this role. The Knicks have a losing record with both starting, but that problem will be solved with Stoudemire in the second unit.
This feels like a Christmas miracle.