All-Star forward talks new head coach, Carmelo Anthony's future and more.
Amar’e Stoudemire doesn’t think it matters that the New York Knicks' coach, Derek Fisher, doesn’t have any prior coaching experience. The Knicks power forward believes Fisher’s playing experience, especially at the point guard position, will help create a seamless transition from the hardwood to the bench.
"It doesn’t matter that Derek Fisher — this is his first experience coaching,” Stoudemire told BET.com recently. “It doesn’t matter because with him being a solid basketball player his career and a point guard and learning so much…most point guards are actual coaches on the floor, so now it will translate over from playing to coaching. Coaching veteran players like myself, we’re going to buy into it quickly. It should be no problem.”
When asked if he had talked to Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony this off season, Stoudemire said he checked in with his teammate and friend, but didn’t delve into asking him if he was going to remain with the franchise or not.
“As far as his concern on whether he’s going to re-sign or not, I really haven’t got into that conversation with him because it’s kind of personal,” Stoudemire commented. “I let him and his family control that.”
Plagued by chronic knee injuries the past few years, Stoudemire was able to string together a pretty serviceable 2013-14 season in which he averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Stoudemire, who will become a free agent next summer, says he’s been working diligently to fully return to his all-star form in the upcoming 2014-15 season.
“I’m doing everything to get ready at this point,” Stoudemire said. “My goal is to get back to the All-Star game and reach my dominant self and get back to the top of the NBA where I was once. With injuries that set in previously, it took a lot to overcome those. Now that I’ve overcome those and had a great year last year, I’m looking forward to having a much better year, if not the best year of my career next year.”
The Knicks' president, Phil Jackson, helped introduce Fisher, his former player on the Los Angeles Lakers, as the 26th coach in Knick franchise history on Wednesday.
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(Photo: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for The Art of Shaving)