The Knicks All-Star was initially reluctant to take his talents overseas, but the threat of a prolonged lockout has changed his tune.
With NBA players threatening to bolt overseas every day, New York Knicks star forward Amar’e Stoudemire doesn’t seem as though he knows what move to make.
Earlier this month Stoudemire used his Twitter account to say to his fans, "Europe teams are calling, I think I'm going 2 stay here in the states. My loyalty is with the State of New York an the NYK's. Who's with me?"
But now it seems Stoudemire is willing to listen. He says teams from many foreign area codes are ringing his phone here lately. And like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and others, Stoudemire seems willing to listen as long as the current NBA lockout persists.
"The chances would be high" of playing elsewhere in a lockout, Stoudemire said to ESPN.com. "They'd definitely be high. I just want to make sure I'm healthy and totally 100 percent before I make that type of commitment. As of right now, we're not entertaining offers. I'm still trying to get [my back] right."
Stoudemire’s willingness to listen to overseas teams could be even more leverage by the players’ union to get the NBA to negotiate a better deal than what has been proposed. New Jersey star point guard Deron Williams has already committed to playing for a Turkish team and that same team is in talks with Bryant. Other stars like Kevin Durant and Howard seem willing to listen to foreign teams about playing during the lockout.
It might not be that simple for Stoudemire.
Getting his back healthy is the key for him. Right now he is under strict orders not to do any strenuous activities that might aggravate his back. So Stoudemire hasn’t been playing ball, conditioning or even rehabbing at this point.
In this case, the extra time away from basketball may actually do Stoudemire some good.
(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)