New York News Hound, White Cover Magazine
Amar’e Stoudemire returns to the Knicks like a mobster who’s just been released from prison. He’ll get the barbecue and the hookers on the house, but eventually there’s business to be done.
His teammates love him, but that love is conditional. It’s conditional on him fitting back into a system he hasn’t been a part of, especially since they’re putting together a pretty nice little season on the back of Carmelo Anthony and nearly only Carmelo Anthony. It’s conditional on Amar’e returning to Phoenix Amar’e, which is now seeming like it was forever and ever ago.
Stoudemire’s first game was rather uninspiring, too, which is fair considering how long he’s been gone. I don’t even mean from this injury. I just mean gone from the player her used to be. In a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Amar’e played 17 minutes and put up 6 points, 1 rebound, and a block.
“I felt good… The game felt like it was going 100 mph that first half. Had a couple of easy-looking shots, open shots, just a little bit rusty, wasn’t able to knock those down. But the second half was better than my first half. Hopefully my second game will be better than my first game.”
Now, the hard point is on Amar’e’s horizon. Defense.
“I think just having a defensive coach for the first time in my career is going to help… I’ve never been taught defense in my whole career, so to now have a coach that actually teaches defense and teaches strategies, and knows positioning and posture, how to guard different plays, it’s going to be helpful. I’m going to take it as a challenge, and I’m going to accept the challenge and try to improve as a player.”