By Aaron Jacobs

Back in 2010, the risk was as much for Stoudemire as it was for the Knicks. How do you convince a player that has had success in the post-season that changing to a team on the opposite coast that hasn’t been in the playoffs in six seasons is the right move? A boat load of cash helps, but it would still take convincing, and Stoudemire bought into New York.

Not only did he buy in, but he gave back. Including his own foundation among many others, Stoudemire became the poster boy for New York basketball. While he enjoyed the big city and the bright lights, Stoudemire never let all of the off-court distraction sway him from his focus on the court. His nickname, S.T.A.T. (Standing Tall and Talented), was certainly on display from the first time he stepped foot into Madison Square Garden.

In 2010, his first season dawning the blue and orange, Stoudemire averaged 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds 2.6 assists and nearly two blocks per game. He made the All-Star game and was an MVP candidate late into the season.

Like it or not he did fulfill one of his proclamations: He put the New York Knicks back on the map.

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