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Amar’e Stoudemire Not Ruling Out Move To Jerusalem When Contract Expires

Amar'e Stoudemire during a visit with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on July 18, 2013. (Photo by Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)

Amar’e Stoudemire during a visit with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on July 18, 2013. (Photo by Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Amar’e Stoudemire has said he’d like to finish his career with the New York Knicks.

But there’s a very real possibility Stoudemire could bolt to join a team that he co-owns in Israel when his contract expires in 2015, according to the New York Post.

Stoudemire is one of four owners of Hapoel Jerusalem and could sign on “to boost its profile,” the Post reported.

The 31-year-old recently said he would be interested in sticking around at Madison Square Garden with Hall of Famer Phil Jackson calling the shots as the Knicks’ new president.

“I want to be a Knick for life and win multiple championships here,” Stoudemire told Bleacher Report. “I don’t want to go anywhere else, especially with Jackson coming in. He has an incredible legacy; it’s probably unmatched. With a leader like that, it can only become a positive output with that type of leadership.”

Stoudemire signed a five-year, $100 million deal with the Knicks in 2010. The injury-prone forward is averaging 11.9 points 56-percent shooting and could be in line for one last big payday if he stays healthy in the final season of his contract.

That is, if he decides to stay in the NBA.

“You can’t rule anything out,” Stoudemire told the Post. “The future is unknown and so if I have an opportunity to (play in Israel) and am still in great health, it would be great. I have one more year left on my deal and we’ll go from there.”

Shimon Peres, the president of Israel, invited Stoudemire to join his country’s national basketball team during the six-time All Star’s visit to the region last summer.

Stoudemire has said he has “Hebrew roots” and is observing Passover.

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