Amar’e Stoudemire wants Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks to believe in him in the same way he insists he now believes in the ultra-transformative franchise.
Not only does the 31-year-old All-Star forward profess to want to be around for the whole ride, he’s imploring the team to reinvest long-term in the Big 3 core of himself, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.
Surely, the 12-year veteran has heard all the chatter about him perhaps being a salary-cap casualty this summer and, armed with a mini-stretch of games where he’s resembled the Amar’e of old, this seems his last, best chance of swaying the masses.
“I think the near future is very bright because we have a great nucleus with Tyson and Carmelo and myself and now Phil Jackson,” Stoudemire told Yahoo! Sports.“That’s why I don’t want to leave. I want to be here for the long haul and do whatever it takes to win, so whatever sacrifices I have to make, I will be willing to make them.”
Stoudemire has averaged 19 points and seven rebounds over the course of the Knicks’ current seven game winning streak, putting the Knicks in reasonable striking distance of securing an Eastern Conference playoff spot and placing them, at least on the surface, within distance of savaging a season that has by all accounts has gone horribly wrong.
A year after posting 50-plus wins, the Knicks, even if they were to go 14-0 over their last several games, can’t post any more than 42 victories this season, which very well may not be enough to qualify them for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Still, Stoudemire has a view of what he sees as the big picture.
“I want to be a Knick for life and win multiple championships here, he said. “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.”