The NBA playoffs kick-off today with the New York Knicks playing the Boston Celtics. But power forward Amar’e Stoudemire has other things to do before he gets back on the court. Thursday night was the red carpet premiere of his EPIX original documentary, Amar’e Stoudmire: In The Moment, capturing the life and upbringing of this basketball great. Men’s Fitness attended the premiere and spoke to the fashion designer/athlete/author about his chances of playing in the playoffs, how it feels to have his team in the deepest playoffs run since 1999, and what his aspirations are for the future.

MF: Will you be playing with the Knicks in the playoffs?
AS: Hopefully. We’ll see. I’m doing everything I can to get back out there and be extremely strong and healthy, so hopefully I’ll be out there soon.

Are you nervous about getting back into the game for the first time since your knee injury?
No, I’m not nervous. It’s more so about wanting to be healthy and strong and in top-shape to be ready to play.

Are you running yet?
I’ve started doing a lot of movements. Not too much running right now. But I’ve been shooting.

How frustrating is it that you were one the first guys to turn things around for the Knicks and now they’re set for a title run while you’re battling knee injuries?
Yeah, I mean it’s frustrating but it’s also phenomenal knowing that what I started is actually happening. We have guys like Carmelo, who is playing MVP-caliber basketbal, J.R. Smith, and Tyson Chandler is playing well defensively for us, so we have a great nucleus of guys out there and a great chance to win the title.

How do you feel about your team on the way to getting their first title in 30 years?
It’s very exciting. This is what I had in mind when I signed with New York. So the dream is finally coming true. I mean Carmelo Anthony is playing extremely well. Everything’s working well so far.

What tips do you have for other guys recovering from a knee injury?
Whether it’s knee injuries or injuries in general, perseverance is always the way to go. You have to stay mentally prepared to make sure you have self-discipline in order to recover.

What kind of exercises were you relying on for your knee?
You wouldn’t believe how many exercises I do a day. They’re all kind of a little tough. You’re talking about 5-hour days of training, but I guess probably the most intricate part of the training with the knee is to try to build up your calves, your quads, and your glutes.

For guys who are suffering from an injury, what kind of cardio do you recommend when you can’t really walk or run?
The pool is always the best way to get in shape when you can’t really apply pressure to your legs. You just got to hop in the pool and swim.

How do you stay in shape off-season?
Train. I want to become a physical trainer when I’m done playing basketball. I love to train. It’s addictive.

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