NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Amar’e Stoudemire was on a mission this offseason to improve his post game.
Under the tutelage of Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon, the Knicks forward believes he can be a big threat in coach Mike Woodson’s inside-out offense.
“I’m looking forward to showing my opponents my moves that I’ve been working on with Hakeem,” Stoudemire said at an appearance at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan on Monday, according to Newsday.
Stoudemire averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Knicks last season. Both numbers were lower than 2010-11, his first season with New York, and his career averages.
But he said this year he’ll have a “great advantage,” thanks to Olajuwon.
“There’s so many moves that I picked up from Hakeem,” Stoudemire said. “Just developing my post game has been phenomenal for me. When I came out of high school, I was just thrown the ball and they said, ‘Do what you do best.’ I never got a chance to develop my game as far as a post player.”
The 29-year-old admittedly had a rough 2011-12 campaign. He was plagued by back issues and didn’t win many Knicks fans over after a tantrum in the playoffs involving a fire extinguisher case resulted in a lacerated hand.
“That’s not what I do, that’s not what I’ve built my career on,” he said. “I’ve been going deep into the playoffs since I’ve been playing. So it was a tough year for me, but everything has a past and now I feel phenomenal.”
Do you think we’ll see a new, improved Amar’e in 2012-13? Be heard in the comments below!