NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Amar’e Stoudemire played 14 seasons in the NBA, more than half of those with the Phoenix Suns. But in announcing his retirement Tuesday, he opted to go out as a Knick, signing a one-day contract with the team.
“Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained in the Big Apple,” Stoudemire said in a news release issued by the team. “Once a Knick, Always a Knick.”
Known as a big man with a smooth mid-range jump shot, Stoudemire signed with the Knicks as a free agent in 2010 and spent 4½ seasons with the team. In the 2010-11 season, he averaged 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and became the first Knick voted as an All-Star Game starter since Patrick Ewing in 1997.
“For parts of six years, Amar’e Stoudemire was the face of the New York Knicks franchise because of his excellence on the court and his dedication to our community and fans across the world,” Knicks general manager Steve Mills said. “When Amar’e asked us to retire as a Knick, we were honored to oblige.”
Stoudemire compared his arrival in New York with this offseason’s additions of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings.
“I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise and we did just that,” he said. “Carmelo (Anthony), Phil (Jackson) and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year’s acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again.”
While the Knicks reached the postseason each of Stoudemire’s first three years with the team, the 6-foot-10 power forward/center often found himself battling injuries. In 2011-12, he suffered a back injury and then during the playoffs in Miami hurt his hand punching a fire extinguisher case in the locker room.
The following year, knee problems limited him to just 29 games.
During the 2014-15 season, the Knicks bought out Stoudemire’s contract, and he signed with the Dallas Mavericks. He spent last season with the Miami Heat.
But the most successful years of Stoudemire’s career came in Phoenix. Drafted with the ninth overall pick straight out of high school, he was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2002-03, and five of his six All-Star selections came with the Suns.
In his eight years with the team, Phoenix reached the playoffs six times, including advancing to the Western Conference finals three times.