Lost Hero – The rise and fall of Amare Stoudamire
Lost Hero – The Rise and Fall of Amare Stoudamire
Rewind. Early June 2010, New York City is buzzing. We’re back! New York Knicks basketball is finally crawling out of the dregs of the NBA basement. After years, and years, and years of heartbreak, let downs, and flat out embarrassment brought to fans by our beloved Knicks, there is finally light at the end of this tunnel. It wasn’t the King Mr. Lebron James who came to town but Amare Stoudamire brought a buzz all his own. He was a confidence boost to a fan base who saw their prodigal son, one Stephon Marbury, eat Vaseline via webcam and then fly off to China to resurrect his life, let alone his career all while leading us to one playoff series (which ended in a sweep at the hands of the New Jersey Nets). Stoudamire was the adrenaline to our veins. He was the coffee to our hangover. He was a breath of life back into the Mecca of basketball and he didn’t disappoint. 25pts 8rebs 2 blocks, all star caliber numbers and New York City loved him strong!
Fast forward, two years and two knee debribement procedures later and Amare Stoudamire is now a pariah. Ever since introducing his fist to that fire extinguisher after game two against the Miami Heat in 2011 – 2012, he has been in the fore front of all conversations concerning what is wrong with our beloved Knicks. Have we forgotten his nine consecutive 30 point games? Did we forget that he took a chance on us by coming here? Does he not deserve the opportunity to get fully healthy and once again prove he deserved the pomp and circumstance that showered him when he first arrived? New York is the greatest city in the world. We have the greatest fans. On the flip side, they are unforgiving and adhere to the age old adage, what have you done for me lately? In Stoudamire’s case, not much. Granted, he showed glimpses of his former all star swag for a brief stretch when he returned from injury earlier this season but that was short lived. A second surgery on his oh so suspect knees knocked him out for the rest of the season (I don’t count those worthless minutes in the Indiana Pacer series). A season when he vowed to return to his dominant ways (he used the word dominant, dominate, and other denominations of the word in many, if not all of his press conferences). I believe it. Call it Knick naïveté or whatever but I believed. This was our year. Carmelo Anthony and Stat can’t co-exist, bologna! Mixed with Tyson Chandler (my apparent doppelgänger) meant that we were going to make a run, a real run, a REAL REAL run! Then come the knee “procedures”. Supposedly simple but needing six weeks to recover, doesn’t sound too simple. We know the rest of this years story. We squeeze by the Celtics in 6, thanks to an “inadvertent” elbow by JR Smith, but lost focus and fell victim to Frank Vogel, Indiana Pacer defense. And now we’ve gone fishing.
Let’s look at the reality. This is Melo’s team. Game on the line Melo has proven he is going to bring it. Chandler is the toughness. Even though Roy Hibbert wiped his ass with my man Tyson, he had the injured neck and the injured back (my neck and my back). He won a title with the Dallas Mavericks, and Defensive Player of the Year, so he gets a do over. Stoudamire is out of do overs. His contract is so diesel that no one wants to lift it. Amnesty is out of the question. His only hope is himself. It may be unjust and due to injury but this summer Amare Carsares Stoudamire needs to soul search. Once labeled the Man Child, now just an overpaid burnout. Is that who you are Carsares? Are you washed up? Should we hand you the proverbial towel to throw in? I’m still a believer, Stat. You brought my faith back. Not a title yet but at least I don’t have to hide my Knicks gear anymore. You’re the reason why we walk proud again. Melo and Tyson and the gang and here to help you. You came to us when others ran to warmer climates and I won’t forget that. But this summer will tell. Next season is all you have left. Rise again young Man Child.