CHARGED caught up with Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire yesterday at an event for Sheets Energy Strips, which he endorses. While Stoudemire’s comments on the NBA lockout were a little off base, the recently dubbed “Renaissance Man” also had a lot to say about the Knicks.
Whether there’s a season this year or not, this summer Chris Paul will be a free agent. Paul, who last summer toasted at Carmelo Anthony’s wedding that him, Anthony, and Stoudemire would form their own big three in New York, has been long-rumored as a potential option for the Knicks.
We asked Amar’e what it was like to get to play alongside Paul and Anthony at the South Florida Charity game on October 8th and if he’s the type of point guard Amar’e would enjoy playing with in the future. Stoudemire was doing an appearance for Sheet Energy Strips.
“Chris Paul is a great point guard. He’s one of the top point guards in the league for sure,” Stoudemire said. “Anytime we get the chance to play with Chris whether it’s charity games or All-Star games it’s always been official. So, we’ll see.”
Not exactly an open invite to come join the Knicks but Stoudemire left the door open by saying “we’ll see.”
Regardless of what happens with Paul, the Knicks do have a new guard joining the team. First round draft pick Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech. Here’s what Amar’e had to say about the newest Knick addition.
“I saw him last month in Georgia down in Atlanta. We hung out for a tad bit, he opened up the court for me and Georgia Tech and watched me train,” Stoudemire said. “I think he’s going to be a great, great fit for us.”
The area that Shumpert most likely will be able to contribute right away is on defense. A topic that is often discussed with the Knicks who are viewed as soft defensively. That was one of the reasons former Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson was brought in as an assistant coach.
Stoudemire sounded excited about the Woodson hire and to focus on defense.
“Implementing our defense will be a huge factor for us and make us a much better team,” Stoudemire said. “So it’s going to be phenomenal once we get going and we start to implement the defensive scheme. It will prepare us to be successful on the court.”
The Knicks were swept in the first-round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics and Stoudemire strained his back during the series. It was an injury that lingered for most of the summer and was one of the silver linings to the lockout.
“It’s a gift and a curse because now I get a chance to have more rest for my back and so it seemed to work out well for me,” Stoudemire said. He also added that the back is “good” now and he would be ready to start playing right away.
Stoudemire went on to say that rehabbing from injuries is one of the hardest things to do during a lockout because of lack of access to the team trainers and doctors they normally work with.
“The bad part about it is you can’t communicate with your team physicians so you have so many guys who are trying to rehab from injuries that are trying to figure out how to approach their workouts and they have no idea so it’s definitely changed,” Stoudemire said. “We’re stuck on our own”
He added that in the end teams cutting off access to physicians might hurt them in the long run.
“Then once the season does restart and guys get hurt within the first few weeks. Go hey you guys wouldn’t let us talk to our physicians, in the long haul the team loses from that,” Stoudemire said.
Stoudemire is upset that games will be missed this season and when asked about the potential of missing the Christmas day game against the Celtics emphasized every game missed is important for the Knicks.
“We want to play game one against Miami. Every game is very important,” Stoudemire said. “We’re really trying to take a stand this year and do something special out here with the Knicks.”
Amar’e said the two biggest areas for the Knicks this season are improving defensively and getting healthy. He added the lockout is a blessing and a curse for the Knicks.
“It’s helping us in a way because guys like myself and Chauncey can take more time to get healthy,” Stoudemire said. “But then again from a chemistry standpoint we’re trying to win a championship and we’re trying to do whatever it takes we can to get that done.”
“By not having training camp, by not having this pre-season it is definitely going to hinder us a little bit but with the coaching staff that we have we should be able to figure it out,” Stoudemire added.
As for what Stoudemire has been doing to stay in shape during the lockout.
“I train every day. Five hours a day, sometimes two-a-days,” Stoudemire said. “So all the work off the court, that makes me the Renaissance Man.”
Everyone get used to calling Stoudemire the “Renaissance Man,” it’s clearly a nickname that Stoudemire won’t let go of as they look to contend for an NBA championship.
Courtesy of: Charged.fm