Amar'e Stoudemire signed a contract with the New York Knicks and subsequently announced that he'll retire from the NBA, the club said in a statement Tuesday.
"I want to thank Mr. Dolan, Phil [Jackson] and Steve [Mills] for signing me so that I can officially retire as a New York Knick," Stoudemire said.
"I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise, and we did just that. Carmelo [Anthony], Phil and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year's acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again. Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained in the Big Apple. Once a Knick, Always a Knick."
Stoudemire, 33, averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 846 career games over 14 seasons for Phoenix, New York, Dallas and Miami. The 6-foot-10 forward/center was named an All-Star six times and selected to two All-NBA first teams, forming one-half of a formidable pick-and-roll duo in Phoenix with point guard Steve Nash. Stoudemire was also named 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year after entering the league directly from high school.
In a statement, the Suns congratulated Stoudemire on his career.
"Amar'e's eight seasons with our franchise provided some of the most exciting Suns basketball this city has ever seen. Off the court, Amar'e represented himself with integrity and class every step of the way, leaving an indelible impression on countless kids in our community," the Suns said. "We're proud to have called Amar'e one of our own and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement. Congrats, STAT!"
It's unclear if Stoudemire plans to play overseas. He has lucrative interest from China, sources tell ESPN's Marc Stein, and could join Hapoel Jerusalem, the Israeli team he co-owns. Sources tell Stein that Stoudemire plans to take some time before deciding if he intends to play pro basketball abroad in the coming season.
Stoudemire played parts of five seasons in New York, signing as a free agent in the summer of 2010. His Knicks tenure was marred by injury, but Stoudemire is credited for signing with New York at a time when other big-name free agents hadn't seriously considered the club. He averaged 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds and was named to the All-NBA second team during his first season with the Knicks.
On Tuesday, he inked a one-year non-guaranteed contract with New York before announcing his retirement.
"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 our fans across the world," Mills, the Knicks GM, said. "When Amar'e asked us to retire as a Knick, we were honored to oblige."
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