Amar’e Stoudemire‘s decision to join Hapoel Jerusalem isn’t about “collecting a paycheck overseas,” the veteran big man writes in a piece for The Players’ Tribune. According to Stoudemire, the two-year deal he has signed with one of the top teams in Europe will be part of a “spiritual journey” for him.
“The Scripture speaks about Jerusalem as a holy place, and I can feel that whenever I’m in the city,” Stoudemire writes. “This is a chance for me to be a better husband and a better father, to help me lead my family into righteousness. The opportunity to play there, and grow as a player and person, is a blessing.”
We passed along the news of Stoudemire following up his NBA retirement by inking a deal in Israel in an earlier post, but when the longtime Sun and Knick made it official today, a few more details trickled out, so let’s round those up below…
- According to Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, his client received several offers from NBA teams this offseason, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. However, those offers came from non-playoff teams, which didn’t interest Stoudemire.
- Walters also clarified that he and Stoudemire didn’t ask the Suns about the sort of one-day contract that the 33-year-old signed with the Knicks when he announced his retirement (Twitter link via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic). Reports had indicated that Stoudemire would have liked to return to Phoenix, but it sounded like he’d wanted to actually play one last year for the Suns — not simply sign a ceremonial contract with the team as he retired.
- Stoudemire’s contract in Israel won’t allow him to join an NBA team in the spring, as Frank Isola of The New York Daily News tweets. That’s no surprise for 2017, since it’s a two-year contract, but it’s not clear if Isola is referring to 2018 as well.
- As part of the agreement that will see him become a player for Hapoel Jersualem, Stoudemire is selling his minority stake in the team to majority owner Ori Allon, per Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link).