Amare Stoudemire

Stoudemire Working With Scholastic on New Kids’ Book Series

New York Knicks Superstar Amar’e Stoudemire has signed on with Scholastic Books to produce his own kids’ chapter book series. STAT: Standing Tall and Talented is scheduled to be released in August 2012. The series is based on the life of Stoudemire and how he overcame a poor upbringing to become an NBA superstar. The series is made for middle school level children as Stoudemire is committed to converting more young children into readers. Stoudemire’s mission statement:

“I am excited to create my book series with Scholastic. They are the best in the business so I trust them with my stories. I decided to write for children because although I am an avid reader now, I wish I had read more as a child. I hope that together with Scholastic, we can creatively inspire a new generation to read.”

Once again I am impressed with Stoudemire. I have written before about how he should be an inspiration to children for overcoming what he has overcome and I think it is great that he can now tell his story to the masses through his books. Once again Stoudemire is using his basketball stature to create opportunities for himself outside of basketball and help other people. Stoudemire’s hard work outside of basketball is inspirational and I wish him the best of luck with his new book line.

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Amar’e Making Moves This Off-season.

Despite his back still being injured, Amar’e Stoudemire has been quite active this offseason. While he has not been able to workout, shoot around, or do cardio exercises, he has been working on his non-basketball hobbies. His fashion line (logo above) with designer Rachel Roy is set to be released soon, and has announced his partnership with Big Lead Sports to create his own sports/fashion website.

Stoudemire has worked closely with designer Rachel Roy on her RACHEL Rachel Roy clothing line. The line is the cheaper, “younger sister” version of her Rachel Roy line. Roy says that she loves to work with people at the top of their game in other areas, and Stoudemire definitely fits that mold. Stoudemire has helped her develop what is described as “courtside apparel for women”. The line targets sporty women who are looking to wear sporting apparel classier than what is sold in sporting good stores, but casual enough to wear at an athletic event. Stoudemire says:

“I wanted to bring something to women who go and watch basketball games or want to be comfortable on the weekends and still look polished and chic -– clothes that could be dressed up or dressed down.”

Many of the pieces bear Stoudemire’s number 1, the Knicks logo, or the Star of David in which Stoudemire has a tattoo of on his hand. It is said that Stoudemire will be coming out with a line for men after he is finished with his current work. Here is a sketch sample of some of Roy/Stoudemire’s work:

Stoudemire has also struck a deal with Big Lead Sports to create his own sports and fashion website. One of his main goals is to boost the popularity of fantasy basketball which pails in popularity to fantasy baseball and football. It’s also rumored that the site will try and create an educational curriculum. Amar’e says:

“From fantasy basketball, it’s a great way for you to learn math without you even knowing it.”

Stoudemire will become a shareholder of Big Lead Sports and an advisor to the company.

Amar’e's moves show how well rounded of a man he is. Clearly he understands that his basketball career will not last forever, and it is admirable that he uses his stature in the sports world to make opportunities for himself outside of basketball. In addition to being an NBA all-star, Stoudemire has been a model citizen ever since he joined the NBA in 2002. Having dealt with attending multiple high schools as a kid, the death of his father and an alcoholic mother who has been in and out of prison, Amar’e is the ideal rags to riches story and he should be an inspiration to kids everywhere. I take my hat off to Stoudemire for all his accomplishments and I hope he continues to flourish.

[Images via Glamzons]
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Amar’e Re-Signs with Nike

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUHSYPqY-f8&feature=player_embedded] Last week on twitter, Amar’e (@Amareisreal) announced his shoe free agency on twitter:

“My shoe deal is about up. I wonder who I should sign with. Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Under armor,or build a company up into a power show company”

“Stay tune to which shoe I choose. It’s a hard choice, when every shoe brand Is gr8. #Forthefans lettgo #ChrisBrownVoice”

On July 6, Amare re-signed with Nike. He released the video above announcing his re-signing. Last year, he wore customized Nike Zoom Huarache Trainers. He has now designed a new Nike shoe.  The Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011- Amare Stoudemire Exclusive is a great looking shoe and I hope to see him wearing it at MSG whenever the season starts. Given his past wearing the Huarache Trainers, it is unknown whether he will wear these shoes.

Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011:

 

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Melo and STAT Look Into Europe Movement

Today Marc Stein reported on ESPN that in fact Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire have reached out to the NBA players association about the possibility of playing basketball over seas. This comes after the news that Derron Williams, the exceptional Nets point guard, has reached a deal to play in Turkey if the lockout goes into next season. The video can be found here.

In the video Stein makes the point that right now everybody is just trying to get information. I think Carmelo and Amare, like all players, wanna play basketball. That is what they are paid to do. That is what they love to do. They aren’t dumb guys, they realize this lockout will probably go into next season and there is a good chance there may not be a next season. They wanna play and get paid. Derron Williams seems to have gotten a great deal in Turkey. As Stein points out, there probably are not as many lucrative offers out there like the one Williams got. While a lot of players want to go and play overseas, it will be interesting to see how many actually go because in order to go they have to get a deal worth their time. Kobe isn’t going to go overseas and play for 800,000 with no out clause and no medical insurance. Players need to have lucrative deals to lure them from the United States.

The whole international movement could impact the Knicks. Stoudemire and Carmelo, I imagine, will be sought after by international teams as they are two of the best players we have in the game today. The only possible scenario in which I like them playing is if they are able to get a deal in which they get to play on the same team, or play on a team with other Knicks. For example, if they signed contracts to play on the same Turkish team with medical insurance and an out clause then yes I would be okay with them going and building some chemistry. I would be more okay with Carmelo going then Stoudemire. Carmelo a) could use the conditioning and extra work and b) has been consistently healthy with no major injuries. STAT, as much as I love him, is an injury concern. He is recovering from that freak back injury he suffered in the playoffs and has terrible knees. He needs as much rest on his body as he can get. It will be interesting to see where this whole thing goes but I think for right now, the Knicks superstars are just building up information and will make a decision further down the road.

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Amare Could Play in… China?


According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Amare Stoudemire would be interested in joining Kobe Bryant in forming exhibition teams to play games in China.

“Amar’e Stoudemire would consider joining Kobe Bryant’s barnstorming tour through China if the NBA lockout extends into the regular season.

According to a person close to the Knicks’ All-Star power forward, Stoudemire would only play if he can be insured in case of injury. The Knicks signed Stoudemire last summer to five-year, $100-million contract despite being unable to get the contract insured because Stoudemire has a pre-existing knee problem and has had surgery for a detached retina.

After Stoudemire signed, he honored the Knicks’ request to withdraw from the U.S. national team in order to rest his body for the upcoming season. Stoudemire also suffered a back injury prior to Game 2 of the Knicks’ first-round series with Boston in April and is still not 100%.

The Knicks are not permitted to have contact with their players during the work stoppage but they would get word to Stoudemire – likely via his agent Happy Walters – that they would prefer if one of their top players didn’t travel to Asia for non-sanctioned NBA exhibitions.”

I don’t like this one bit. If Amare wasn’t 28 with a bad back and knees that will need surgery sometime in the next few years, then yes I would be okay with it. Of course it would be awesome to see Amare and Kobe and Durant playing together in exhibition games but with all the Knicks have invested in this 6’10 scoring machine, we cannot afford an injury to the man they call STAT. Phoenix didn’t sign him because they refused to give him a 5 year contract due to concern over his knees. There’s no doubt the man has injury problems. He shouldn’t be taking risks overseas in exhibition games when we have 102 million dollars invested in him. Thank god that Amare is a intelligent human being and knows the importance of medical insurance but still, he shouldn’t play. I know Amare is a well rounded, cultured man and would love the chance to play some games in China but he has a 5 year commitment to the New York Knicks.

Oh yea, and Amare’s going to China this month… Lets pray that this lockout gets lifted before the season starts.

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Hilarous Jeff Van Gundy Commentary on Amare Dunk

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svx6bfDyhxI] I always look back on the Knicks season highlights and this is one of my favorites. After Amare dunks on Miami leading into a timeout, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy have some hilarious commentary while the reply and the badass ESPN outro music is playing.

 

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Thank You Donnie Walsh

     As Donnie Walsh departs at the end of the business day Thursday, he deserves praise and thanks from anybody who calls themselves a Knick fan. Despite his clash with Dolan, Walsh successfully turned the biggest laughing stock in the league to a team on the rise anchored by two superstars. He transformed Madison Square Garden from a place riddled with losing, debt and sexual harassment charges to a positive environment that is filled with hope for the first time since the Ewing era. Today is a day that we should look at the great things Walsh has done for our favorite team. Lets put into perspective what Walsh’s accomplishments were.

2008-2009 Season
     Walsh takes over a team, fresh off the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment suit, with a 130+ million dollar payroll. Walsh fires Isiah Thomas and signs Mike D’Antoni to a 4 year 24 million dollar deal. With the 6th pick in the draft, Walsh selects Danilo Gallinari from Italy who blossoms into a quality player and a fan favorite. On November 21, 2008, Walsh orchestrates the two trades that serve as a launching pad for the entire rebuilding process. In one trade, Walsh trades Jamal Crawford to Golden State for Al Harrington. In the other trade, Walsh flips Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to the Clippers for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley. Both moves are created to clear the salary cap for the 2010 off season in which LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer are free agents. On Feb 24, 2009 the Knicks and cancerous point guard Stephon Marbury agree on a buyout thus removing him from the organization. The Knicks win 9 more games than in 2007 and finish 32-50.

2009-2010 Season
     On June 25, 2009, Walsh trades Quentin Richardson to Memphis for cash considerations and center Darko Milicic. In the 2009 draft, Walsh selects Arizona forward Jordan Hill with the 8th selection and trades a second rounder and cash to the Lakers for the rights to Florida State shooting guard Toney Douglas. On Feb 18, Walsh makes 2 more great trades. He flips Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries (and his horrific contract), a 2012 first round pick and the right to flip picks in 2011 to Houston for Tracy McGrady and his expiring contract. Then he trades Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry to Boston for expiring contracts Eddie House and JR Giddens as well as Bill Walker and a second round pick. These trades create a plethora of expiring contracts on the roster with Eddy Curry being the only Thomas holdover that was impossible to deal. The Knicks finish the season with a 29-53 record but go into the off season with millions to spend and increased optimism.

2010-2011 Season
     In the 2010 draft, the Knicks select Syracuse guard Andy Rautins and Stanford guard Landry Fields in the 2nd round. They also trade cash considerations to Milwaukee for their second round selection, Tulsa center Jerome Jordan. July 8, 2010 provides the first building block in Walsh’s vision as he is able to sign Amare Stoudemire to a 5 year, 102 million dollar contract. The next day, David Lee is signed and traded to Golden State for Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph, Kelena Azubuike and a 2010 second round pick. Free agents Timofey Mozgov, Shawne Williams, Raymond Felton and Roger Mason Jr are signed before the end of the off season. In a surprise, Shawne Williams makes the squad over Patrick Ewing Jr. On Feb 5, 2011 Mark Warkentien is brought on by Walsh as director of pro player personnel. February 22 provides Walsh’s club a second superstar. The Knicks trade Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a future first round pick, 2 second round picks, cash and the right to swap 2016 first round picks to the Denver Nuggets for superstar Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams. Minnesota is also involved in the deal as the Knicks send Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph and cash to Minnesota for Corey Brewer. Walsh had been hesitant to give up the kitchen sink for Melo and co. but it’s widely believed that the Dolan/Thomas marriage sabotaged Walsh’s plan and jumped in to complete the contract. Nevertheless, the Knicks acquire their second superstar. On March 1st, the Knicks wave Corey Brewer, sign Jared Jeffries and claim Derrick Brown off waivers. The Knicks finish 42-40 and make the eastern conference playoffs as the 6 seed.

2011 Offseason
     Walsh is widely reported to be returning but on June 3rd, the Knicks announce that they will be parting ways with Walsh. Donnie, being the class act he is, says all the right things in the media and that it was a “mutual” agreement. While it may have been “mutual”, it was because of Dolan’s ignorance and tyrannical ways. He did not want to give Walsh the full autonomy that he deserved and wanted to run the team as he saw fit. Walsh runs the 2011 draft as the Knicks select Georgia Tech  point guard Iman Shumpert in the first round and purchase the rights to Kentucky center Josh Harrellson in the second round. On June 31, Walsh’s contract expires and he steps down from his general manager position. He will remain as a consultant.

Perspective
     Donnie Walsh did wonders for this team. He took Isiah’s crazy house of an organization and transformed it into a winning team with tons of hope for the future. He cleared the payroll and filled it with superstars. Who knows what kind of deal we could have gotten for Carmelo if Dolan hadn’t stepped in. We may have been able to keep one or two more players. Walsh’s firing, although said to be “mutual” but it was a firing, shows just how incompetent James Dolan is as an owner. The man has no clue what he is doing and did Walsh an egregious injustice by not allowing him to finish what he started. As appalling as this whole ending has been, Walsh continues to handle the set of circumstances he has been given with class. He was the savior that this team needed. Even with an egotistic owner interfering with his  job, Walsh was able to make the Knicks winners again. For that alone, we must be thankful. Donnie Walsh deserves much better then how James Dolan has treated him but as fans we must give him our thanks. He’s made our team exciting, he’s given us hope and he’s made us winners. Thank you Donnie Walsh. Knick fans everywhere know what you did for our club and we appreciate it.

Lets follow @AnthonyMSG and get #ThanksDonnie trending on twitter.

Image via Bleacher Report

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Amar’e Selected as 2011 “Father of the Year”

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     Today Amar’e Stoudemire was one of five men who accepted their 2011 “Father of the Year” award from the National Father’s Day Council. The other four men awarded were Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim, CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone Geoffrey Canada, President of Lord and Taylor’s Brendan Hoffman and AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson. All five men accepted their awards today at the Sheridan Hotel on 811 Seventh Avenue at 52nd street. Congrats to Amar’e who has thrived both on and off the court in New York City. He continues to prove his worth as a contributing member of society as a great and articulate man as well as a leader and role model for youth everywhere.

Image via AmareStoudemire.com
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Should Knicks Ditch 3 Star Plan?

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     Today, Marc Berman of the NY Post wrote an article about how Dallas has shown that the Knicks should change their 3 star plan. The 3 stars being Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and hypothetically, now New Orleans point guard, Chris Paul. I’m not sure that Miami’s collapse suggests that the Knicks need to scratch the 3 star plan because I think the 2 situations are completely different. Having a big 3 with a Chris Paul versus Chris Bosh is completely different. One of the great positives of Chris Paul is that he makes everybody better on offense and he’s a great defender. Bosh adds a 3rd scorer to LeBron and Wade but he doesn’t pass to make people better and he’s not a great defender (see Dirk at the end of game 2 of the finals). Depending on the new CBA the Knicks may be able to afford Paul or they may not be able to. Depending on the new salary cap figure / whether or not it is a hard cap, the Knicks could be able to get Paul cheaper and maybe add a decent piece or two. Miami did well in that they had the big 3 signed to less then max deals and they were able to sign Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller. Amare and Carmelo are both signed on max deals and the NBA doesn’t allow, or doesn’t allow under this CBA, the ability to take a pay cut while in contract. I am a big proponent of team depth. We have enough firepower with Amare and Carmelo and I would not be opposed to bypassing CP3 and signing a veteran point, a center and some bench pieces. Right now, with all the CBA uncertainty, I think it’s a bit of a waste to discuss this. While it is interesting to discuss, nobody knows what the terms of the next CBA are. Depending on the cap number, CP3 may not even be a possibility and then the 3 star plan will have to be scratched. I think there are pros and cons to both plans but this cannot be seriously discussed until we know the terms of the next CBA.

Image via NY Daily News

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James Dolan Should Re-hire Walsh for NOT Getting LeBron James

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     Tonight, Dallas knocked off the Miami Heat 105-95 to win the series in 6 games. In the series, LeBron James was widely criticized in the series for coming up short in games 4 and 5 and he didn’t disappoint in game 6. Yes he had 21 points on an efficient 9-15 night but he wasn’t his dominant self, his body language was horrible and he wasn’t good on defense. He was a -24 in plus/minus margin and he had 6 turnovers. As Dallas knocked off the “Big Three”, “Heatles” whatever you wanna call them, I could not help but think to myself “I’m happy we don’t have LeBron”. Is he widely considered the best player in the NBA? Yes. I do not know what everyone sees. Yes he is athletically superior and a great defender but his offense is inconsistent and he’s given up on his teams in the past. As documented in Adrian Wojnarowski’s great article today, LeBron gave up on the Olympic national team in 2008 and last year on his Cleveland team in the eastern conference finals. His body language and effort suffers greatly when things do not go well, as documented in game 6. If I had to pick a player to build a team around, I would much rather have Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade or Chris Paul. Or I’d love to have Amare and Carmelo Anthony. While Donnie Walsh didn’t get LeBron last summer, which had more to do with Wade recruiting the big 3 not Walsh’s skills, I think he created a better nucleus then the one that Miami has. Does Miami arguably have 2 of the top 5 players in the league? Yes but the Knicks are not far behind and we have room to improve either by acquiring another star or 2-3 good solid role players. Even though LeBron was the Knicks number 1 goal, I think Walsh should be applauded for coming up with a backup plan that may pay bigger dividends then LeBron ever would. Carmelo and Amare have always been known as being thick skinned players. For example, take this years playoffs. Yea we lost 4-0, but much of that had to do with injuries. Amare played at 50% because he cared about the team, he wanted to win. Carmelo rebounded from a terrible game 1 to post a 42 point 17 rebound game 2. We have guys that want to win and they have no history of ever giving up on a team, much less 2 of them. You have to be mentally tough to play in New York. LeBron’s shown that he’s a mental midget. He gets criticized for poor performance and then plays worse. As my Uncle and I discussed tonight, what if this had been Knicks vs Mavs? The Miami media is nowhere close to the New York media in terms of opinionated criticism. I told my Uncle “if this had been New York, LeBron would have jumped off the Hudson Bridge tonight” and my Uncle responded “Too scared, he’d be hiding under the bridge with (chris) Bosh”

Adrian Wojnarowski Article: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-wojnarowski_lebron_james_dwyane_wade_nba_finals_game6_061111

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