Ex-Knicks Star Amar’e Stoudemire Weighing NBA Comeback After ‘Roller-Coaster’ Championship Season in Jerusalem
Former New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire has returned to the US after winning the Israeli Premier League title with Hapoel Jerusalem last week and is leaving open the possibility of a NBA comeback, the New York Post reported on Monday.
The 34-year-old six-time NBA All-Star called this past season, which culminated with an 83-76 win over Maccabi Haifa, a “roller-coaster ride.”
“To play and win a championship my first year there [in Israel], I could just call it quits and leave as a champion,’’ Stoudemire told the New York Post from Miami. “That could be an option. Another option is maybe to play with a team that needs quality veteran leadership here in the NBA. That could be an option. Or I could go back and defend the title for a back-to-back. I have time to think about it. Those are my three options.”
Asked about potentially rejoining the Knicks, Stoudemire said, “I haven’t spoken to them yet about it, but that definitely could be an option. I have nothing but positive affirmations about the team and organization. That will be something I can think about.”
Stoudemire signed a two-year contract with Hapoel Jerusalem last August. As part of the deal, he suspended his partial ownership of the team.
The athlete told the New York Post he enjoyed living in Israel. “I follow all the laws of Moses, Passover with unleavened bread, Yom Kippur, the culture and law of the land,’’ Stoudemire, who has talked in the past about his “Hebraic roots,” said. “It was perfect for me. I was able to adapt easily because we all followed the same laws of the Torah.’’
Describing Israeli basketball fans, Stoudemire said, “[They] have been amazing — at every game they’re cheering, ecstatic all game and positive. It’s motivation.’’
Watch the championship celebration in Jerusalem below:
Amar’e Stoudemire is the KING of Jerusalem, folks. Thousands here at his title celebration. pic.twitter.com/vNSEsnwR7b
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 15, 2017