Amar’e Stoudemire losing a fight with a fire extinguisher was the latest turn in what’s been a really weird season for the New York Knicks. From their awful start, to “Linsanity”, to ‘Melo going to hero to villain back to hero (and getting a coach to quit in the process) in approximately 30 days, Gotham didn’t seem to have a quiet week all season long.
A series with the Miami Heat was dramatic enough it didn’t need any extra juice, but there was Stoudemire trying to cold cock a fire extinguisher.
Unless Carmelo goes off for 75 points a game for the rest of the series, Stoudemire’s season is likely over. And what a tough season it’s been.
First there was an inevitable adjustment period to working with ‘Melo and Tyson Chandler, then his brother died suddenly, causing Stoudemire to leave his team to be with his family and adjust to life without a loved one. Then his back gave out on him and he missed a month of action with a herniated disk. His rhythm was off all season. There wasn’t one reason for it, there were many.
What next? Are the problems Stoudemire had this season temporary? Did the Knicks make a $100 million mistake?
The answer to the second question is yes, they made a mistake. The mistake wasn’t signing Amar’e, it was signing him to a five year, $100 million uninsured contract. Had they signed him to less would it be a less severe mistake? Sure, but the point is the Knicks have left themselves with one option and one option only. They have stay hitched to the guy they brought in to be the franchise savior 15 months ago. They don’t have a choice. They can’t trade him because of his uninsured contract is so bad at this point that he makes Joe Johnson look properly paid. They can’t amnesty him because they used it on Chauncey Billups.
They’re stuck. They have to make this work.
When the Knicks tell Amar’e Stoudemire they’re behind him 100 percent (and if they don’t they’re an even more poorly run than I thought), they should encourage him to take a month or two to get his head and body right and then have whoever their coach is work out with Amar’e to figure what his body has left physically and go from there. Amar’e must also sit back and figure out what he has left physically and how he can make that work on the court. One of the Knicks’ problems is they’ve always looked for the quick fix, but because of the new cap structure they can’t throw away money like they used to. That’s why the Knicks and Amar’e Stoudamire are tied to each other for better or worse until that awful contract due them part.