Amar’e Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire Retires In Israel

Six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire is retiring from basketball after playing one season in Israel, relays Orazio Cauchi of Sportando.

Stoudemire, 35, made the announcement on Instagram, calling this past season “a great ride for me and my family.” He led his Hapoel Jerusalem team to the Israeli League title and the Eurocup semifinals while being named MVP of the All-Star Game.

“We enjoyed the city, its people, the holy places and of course Hapoel fans,” Stoudemire wrote. “Although I would have liked to return for another season, the team, coach and I could not find a role that I felt would allow me to meaningfully contribute in the way I have always been accustomed to play I feel it is my time now, to return to the shareholder’s position and help make this team even better.”

The experience in Israel capped off a remarkable career for Stoudemire, who entered the NBA straight out of high school and was the ninth pick of the 2002 draft. He appeared in 846 games, averaging 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per night. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in Phoenix, where he spent his first eight seasons. He also played five years in New York and one in Dallas before wrapping up his NBA career with 52 games in Miami in 2015/16.

And Ones: Stoudemire, Paul, G League, Fegan

Former NBA All-Star and now Israeli League champion, Amar’e Stoudemire, has completed his first season abroad and is now weighing three major options, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Those options are retirement, returning to Israel to defend his title with Hapoel Jerusalem, or pursue an NBA comeback.

Stoudemire, soon-to-be 35 years old, last appeared in the NBA for a 52-game run with the 2015/16 Heat. In those games, the six-time All-Star posted totals of 5.8 PPG and 4.3 RPG in just under 15 minutes per game. In Israel last season, Stoudemire played a similar role as a sixth man, averaging 9.9 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 23 minutes.

The former Rookie of the Year was last effective in his first season with the Knicks after signing a massive five-year pact. Stoudemire revealed to Berman that while no talks have taken place yet, a reunion with the Knicks is possible. “I’ve followed New York, always pulling for the Knicks to have success,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’ve been hearing the stories [about Carmelo Anthony]. I’m always rooting for the Knicks and Carmelo as well to have success. Unfortunately it wasn’t the case this year. I do have positive energy toward the team, and soon they’ll start succeeding.”

Here are some additional notes from around the basketball world:

  • Soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul is set to opt-out of his Clippers deal but he will retain role as president of the National Basketball Players Associates, per ESPN’s Marc J. Spears (via Twitter). The All-Star guard was reelected to a new term in New York City Friday.
  • NBA agent Dan Fegan has filed a $30MM lawsuit against ISE’s Hank Ratner for fraud and contractual interference, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (via Twitter). In a separate tweet, Zillgitt says that Fegan alleges ISE and Ratner “orchestrated a Machiavellian conspiracy, to steal Dan Fegan’s clients and destroy his reputation.” ISE said in a statement that Fegan’s lawsuit is a “publicity stunt.”
  • Adam Johnson of D League Digest (via Twitter) reports that the G League expansion draft — which will include four new teams — is scheduled for August 23.

Heat Notes: Bosh, Stoudemire, Stokes

It’s unlikely the Heat will use the stretch provision on Chris Bosh this year, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Teams face an August 31st deadline to trigger that option for the 2016/17 season, and Miami officials don’t appear ready to commit to such a move. The stretch provision is a relatively new rule that allows teams to ease the burden of an unwanted contract by waiving the player and stretching his cap hit for double the number of years left on his deal, plus one. Bosh has three years remaining at $75,868,170, so the Heat could choose to pay him $10,838,750 each year through 2022/23.

One consequence of using the stretch provision is it erases the possibility of a medical retirement, which could happen if an independent doctor rules that Bosh, whose past two seasons have been cut short by blood clots, cannot continue playing in the NBA. That must occur at least one year after a player’s final game, which in Bosh’s case was February 9th, 2016, and would take the entire remaining contract off the Heat’s cap.

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • Bosh continues to send positive messages to teammates about resuming his career, Winderman notes in the same story. If the Heat decide to use the stretch provision on Bosh, he could immediately sign with any other team, most likely one with fewer objections than Miami about letting him play again.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire would have preferred more time in the NBA before joining the Israeli team that he co-owns, Winderman adds in the same piece. Stoudemire appeared in 52 games for the Heat last year and became a regular starter by the end of the season. “I started 37, 38 of the last 40 [regular-season] games,” he said at a press conference in Jerusalem. “My stats were pretty good. But teams want to go younger and have a different mindset about basketball.”
  • Jarnell Stokes, who appeared in five games for Miami last season, hired Priority Sports as his new agent and turned down offers in excess of $500K to play in Europe, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. The 6’9″ center/power forward was acquired in a trade with Memphis last November, but spent most of the season in the D-League, where he earned MVP honors. Miami traded him to New Orleans in February, and the Pelicans promptly released him. The Lokomotiv Kuban franchise in Russia is among the teams interested in signing Stokes, according to Sportando.

Amar’e Stoudemire Received NBA Offers

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).

Amar’e Stoudemire To Play In Israel

AUGUST 1, 8:50am: Stoudemire has officially signed a two-year deal with Hapoel Jerusalem, according to Pick (Twitter link). “I’m looking forward to help the team compete for titles,” Stoudemire said.

JULY 31, 10:01am: Amar’e Stoudemire, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, has signed to play in Israel next season, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Stoudemire officially ended his NBA career at age 33 by signing a ceremonial contract with the Knicks, but he isn’t ready to give up the game completely.

Stoudemire will play for Hapoel Jerusalem,  a team he partially owns along with several other investors. Pick notes that he will become the most famous former NBA star ever to play in Israel.

Stoudemire spent 14 years in the NBA, playing for the Suns, Knicks, Mavericks and Heat. He appeared in 52 games for Miami last season, starting 36, and averaged 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in nearly 15 minutes per night.

Stoudemire’s links to Israel are based in his embrace of Judaism. When he joined the Heat in 2015, he told Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel that he considers himself “culturally Jewish” and was planning to obtain Israeli citizenship.

“When I traveled to Israel for the first time, the world took hold of that and [the media] made it a big deal, and … it just kind of blew up from there,” he said. “But I was always this way, even when I was in Phoenix or even in high school here in Florida. But it just happened to become more visible when I traveled to Israel.”

Pacific Notes: Gay, Durant, Stoudemire, Suns

Rudy Gay made some comments earlier this week that made NBA observers raise an eyebrow, as he complained about the lack of stability and consistency in Sacramento and admitted that he hadn’t even been following the Kings‘ offseason moves. Gay has since followed up on those comments, so let’s dive into a Friday morning round-up of Pacific notes for the latest on Gay and a couple other players…

  • According to Sean Cunningham of ABC10, Gay said that he spoke to Kings GM Vlade Divac this week. And while Gay acknowledged that things haven’t necessarily changed since Monday, he expressed some optimism about his situation going forward, whether that’s in Sacramento or somewhere else. “At this point in my career I just want to be happy,” Gay said. “I talked to Vlade and we’re trying to make that happen.”
  • Refuting a report that surfaced recently, Kevin Durant tells Shams Charania of The Vertical that he never promised Oklahoma City teammates Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison that he’d return to the Thunder before he signed with the Warriors. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth,” Durant said. “We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. … I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that.”
  • Speaking to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic, Amar’e Stoudemire confirmed a Tuesday report, admitting that he had interest in rejoining the Suns during the past couple offseasons, but that there wasn’t mutual interest in that scenario. “The last two years, we made phone calls to Phoenix but I wasn’t getting any positive response,” Stoudemire said. “That would’ve been the perfect way to go out. I didn’t want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places – Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted.” Stoudemire ultimately signed a ceremonial contract this week to retire as a Knick, rather than as a Sun.

And-Ones: Stoudemire, Calathes, Quarterman

Amar’e Stoudemire, who announced his retirement earlier today, wanted to sign with the Suns and play one more season, but Phoenix had no interest, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 relays (via Twitter). The scribe also speculates this snub could be the reason the forward chose to retire as a Knick despite having his best seasons in a Suns uniform.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Kings are attempting to lure point guard Nick Calathes back to the U.S. for next season, international journalist David Pick reports (via Twitter). Calathes, who is under contract from the Greek club Panathinaikos, last played in the NBA during the 2014/15 campaign and is an unrestricted free agent as a result of the Grizzlies withdrawing their qualifying offer to him.
  • Tim Quarterman‘s two-year, minimum salary deal with the Trail Blazers includes a partial guarantee of $75K for the first year, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • In order to create the necessary cap space to sign Alex Abrines, the Thunder renounced their Early Bird rights to former player Derek Fisher, salary cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets.
  • Ben Leibowitz of The Mercury News examined some of the most team-friendly player contracts in the NBA.

Amar’e Stoudemire Announces Retirement

NBA: Preseason-Charlotte Hornets at Miami HeatAmar’e Stoudemire has decided to call it a career, announcing his retirement today after signing a ceremonial contract with the Knicks, the team announced in a press release (Twitter link).

“I want to thank Mr. Dolan, Phil [Jackson] and Steve [Mills] for signing me so that I can officially retire as a New York Knick,” Stoudemire said in a statement. “I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise and we did just that. Carmelo [Anthony], Phil and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year’s acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again. Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart has always remained in the Big Apple. Once a Knick, Always a Knick.”

The 33-year-old was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, entering the league fresh out of high school. He appeared in 846 regular season games in his career, averaging 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks per contest and shooting .537/.236/.761 from the field. Stoudemire likely expected to play more than he did with Miami in 2015/16, appearing in just 52 games and logging 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per outing on the campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Heat Re-Sign Udonis Haslem

3:37pm: The two sides have agreed on a one-year deal worth $4MM, Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald tweets.

8:39am: Udonis Haslem is finalizing a deal to stay in Miami for his 14th season, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The veteran power forward has been in negotiations with the Heat this week and is hoping to receive a contract for something more than the veteran’s minimum.

Haslem, 36, has been with the franchise since 2003, but has seen his playing time drop steadily in recent years. He appeared in 37 games with Miami this season, averaging 1.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in 7.0 minutes of action. Team president Pat Riley recently singled out Haslem for becoming a mentor with younger players and said he would like to keep him for another season.

The Heat may need Haslem on the court more often next season if Chris Bosh‘s availability remains limited by health issues. Another veteran big man, Amar’e Stoudemire, is also a free agent and may not return to Miami.

Heat Rumors: Whiteside, Wade, Johnson, Deng

In his Sunday column for The Miami Herald, Barry Jackson detailed a disagreement the Heat and Chris Bosh had over the idea of using blood thinners to allow him to return to the court as we outlined here. In addition to the report on Bosh though, Jackson provided the latest rumors and details on several other Heat-related topics, with a focus on the team’s free agents. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • The Heat would prefer to lock up Hassan Whiteside for something a little below the max, selling him on the lack of income tax in Florida, his comfort level with the Heat, and the fact that his current team could offer him bigger raises than any other suitor. Still, as Jackson points out, another free agent center option like Al Horford would have a higher max salary than Whiteside, so Miami could easily justify going to the max to keep the club’s incumbent center.
  • The Heat’s preference for Dwyane Wade‘s next deal would be to make it for just one year, to give the franchise flexibility in 2017. One Heat person estimates to Jackson that a one-year contract for Wade would be in the $15-20MM neighborhood.
  • Miami would like to re-sign Joe Johnson, but he may not be as willing as he was earlier this year to accept a discount to play in South Beach. The Heat would likely dangle the $2.9MM room exception for Johnson.
  • An Eastern Conference official expects Luol Deng to get a two-year deal that pays him at least $12MM annually. That price may be too steep for the Heat, even though they’d like to bring Deng back.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire, Gerald Green, and Dorell Wright aren’t expected to return to the Heat, though that could change if Stoudemire and Green are willing to re-sign for the minimum.
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