Amar’e Stoudemire Reportedly Willing to Come Off the Bench

by November 29, 2012

It’s the elephant in the room for the New York Knicks this season — is Amar’e Stoudemire willing to come off the bench, where it is widely believed would be the best spot for him and the Knicks? According to an ESPN report, the answer appears to be yes: “Amar’e Stoudemire would accept a role as the New York Knicks’ sixth man if asked, two sources with knowledge of Stoudemire’s thinking said. ‘All he cares about right now is helping the team and winning,’ said one source, who has been around Stoudemire regularly in recent weeks. ‘He’d be fine with coming off the bench if that’s what they want.’ Stoudemire hasn’t spoken with reporters since suffering a left knee injury in the preseason. He’s been rehabilitating his knee following arthroscopic surgery for the past four weeks and is expected to miss at least another two weeks. There has been speculation about what role Stoudemire will play once he returns. Many believe Stoudemire would be a better fit coming off the bench for coach Mike Woodson’s team. Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony have had a tough time developing cohesion on offense — the Knicks have a losing record while the two stars are in the same starting lineup. […] Woodson has been evasive when asked about Stoudemire’s role once he returns. Woodson has said in the past his players wouldn’t lose their starting roles because of injury. But Woodson also hasn’t committed to re-inserting Stoudemire into the starting lineup. […] A source close to Stoudemire who has visited with the veteran power forward recently said Stoudemire wants to help the Knicks, who were 9-4 entering play Wednesday, and doesn’t want to affect any chemistry the team has established. ‘He just wants to win,’ the source says. ‘He sees how well they’re playing and just wants to help. He’ll be fine with whatever they want to do.’ Woodson may choose to bring Stoudemire off the bench initially to help him work his way back into game shape. One league source says the Knicks are hesitant to take Jason Kidd out of the starting lineup to make room for Stoudemire. Stoudemire, a 10-year veteran, is coming off a down year in which he averaged 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game — the lowest full-season totals since his rookie season.”