Amar'e Carsares Stoudemire (born November 16, 1982) is an American professional basketball player who plays as a power forward and center for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association.
Stoudemire played high school basketball for six different schools, before graduating from Cypress Creek High School and declaring for the NBA draft as a prep-to-pro player. In high school, Stoudemire won several honors most notably being selected as Mr. Basketball for the state of Florida. Stoudemire initially committed to the University of Memphis. He was selected in the first round with the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Stoudemire spent the first eight years of his career with the Phoenix Suns, before signing with the New York Knicks. Stoudemire is listed at 6 feet 10 inches (208 cm) and 240 pounds (110 kg).
Stoudemire is known for having a relatively successful career despite having chronic knee problems and having microfracture surgery on his knees. Stoudemire won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2003, made six appearances in the NBA All-Star Game, was a first-team All-NBA selection in 2007, and won a bronze medal with the United States men's national basketball team at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Stoudemire's first name had previously been listed in the Phoenix Suns media guide as Amaré or Amare, but it was changed to Amar'e in October 2008. Stoudemire told NBA.com that his name had always been spelled Amar'e, but the media had been spelling it incorrectly since he joined the NBA.
Stoudemire stated he has Jewish roots in his mother's family heritage. Stoudemire has visited Israel and is one of the few players in the league with Jewish ties.
Early life and career
Stoudemire was born in Lake Wales, Florida, a small city within an hour's drive of Orlando. Stoudemire's parents, Carrie and Hazell, divorced at a young age. Together they had a son, Hazzell Jr., as well as Amar'e. Stoudemire's mother did agricultural work, picking oranges in Florida, but she migrated north to Upstate New York during the fall to pick apples. Upon divorcing Hazell, she met another man, Artis Wilmore. Together they had a child, Marwan, who became Stoudemire's half brother. Hazell died of a heart attack when Stoudemire was 12, and his mother was in and out of prison for things such as petty theft and forgery during that time. Because his mother was in and out of jail, Stoudemire had other outside influences to help guide him. He occasionally stayed with a policeman named Burney Hayes; he also lived with a man named Travis King, who coached Fastbreak USA, Stoudemire's AAU squad, as well as a minister named Bill Williams. As a result of moving in-and-out, and his mother's problems with the law, he attended six different high schools in two different states. Due to all the transfers he missed his entire junior year of basketball. Stoudemire graduated from Cypress Creek High School in Orlando, Florida. He told Isaac Perry in an article for Dime Magazine that what kept him going in that time period was God and the words of rapper Tupac Shakur. Apart from basketball, Stoudemire excelled in football. Stoudemire was coached by his father in his Pop Warner football team as a child and saw himself as a star receiver for the University of Miami, Florida or Florida State. Growing up Stoudemire rooted for Shaquille O'Neal who played for his hometown Orlando Magic.
He did not start playing organized basketball until he was 14. Stoudemire only played two years of high school-level basketball, but in those two years he was named the MVP of the Nike Summer League. In his senior year Stoudemire averaged 29.1 points, 15 rebounds, 6.1 blocked shots, and 2.1 steals per game. Stoudemire obtained several honors in high school. He was selected to play in the McDonald's All-American Game, won Florida Mr. Basketball, USA Today All-USA Basketball First Team, and was an Orlando Sentinel Florida High School Player of the Year. In high school Stoudemire noted that his biggest goal was to make it as a NBA player. Stoudemire through high school was able to make good grades and committed to John Calipari and the University of Memphis. However, he later de-committed and declared for the NBA draft because of his desire to help his family quickly. The Phoenix Suns decided on him with the ninth pick in the 2002 NBA Draft due to the need of an interior presence, something they lacked since trading Charles Barkley. Phoenix was the only team that year to select a high school player in the first round.
Phoenix Suns (2002–10)
In his rookie season, Stoudemire averaged 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, with a season high of 38 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 30, 2002, the highest score by a prep-to-pro player until broken a year later by LeBron James. Stoudemire was selected to the Rookie squad in the Rookie Challenge. In the game, Stoudemire recorded 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Stoudemire won the NBA's Rookie of the Year award, beating out Yao Ming and Caron Butler and becoming the first player drafted out of high school to win the award. Stoudemire also was selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The Suns, led by Stoudemire, Stephon Marbury, Shawn Marion, Penny Hardaway and Joe Johnson, made it to the playoffs but were defeated in six games by the eventual champions, the San Antonio Spurs.
The following season, Stoudemire improved statistically, but his team stumbled to a 29–53 record, and point guard Stephon Marbury was traded to the New York Knicks. During the season Stoudemire had a 10-block game against the Utah Jazz; he recorded six blocks in the first quarter alone. During the summer of 2004, Stoudemire was selected to play for the eventual Bronze Medal-winning United States national team in the 2004 Summer Olympics. However, head coach Larry Brown declined to give him significant playing time[quantify].
During the 2004–05 NBA season, Stoudemire teamed up with point guard Steve Nash who the Suns traded for, to lead the Suns to a 62–20 record. Averaging 26 points per game that year and achieving a new career high of 50 points against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 2, 2005, he was selected to his first National Basketball Association All-Star Game as a reserve forward. Stoudemire participated in the slam dunk contest, but did not win the competition. Stoudemire and Nash ran a pick-and-roll many have compared to John Stockton and Karl Malone. In the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, Stoudemire performed magnificently, averaging 37 points per game, but the Suns lost in 5 games.
During the 2005–06 NBA pre-season, knee cartilage damage was discovered and Stoudemire underwent microfracture surgery on October 18, 2005. Initially, the Suns thought he would return by mid-February, but his rehab took longer than expected. Stoudemire, however, scored 20 points in his return against the Portland Trail Blazers, but went scoreless his third game against the New Jersey Nets on March 27, 2006. On March 28 it was announced that he would likely miss the rest of the regular season due to ongoing stiffness in both knees. His manager stated that the comeback came a little too soon, and Stoudemire needed to do more rehab. Stoudemire's rehabilitation, which was led by Suns trainer Aaron Nelson and Dr. Micheal Clark, the president and CEO of the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) went well as he stated during the rehab that he was pretty explosive and he gradually gained his strength back.
Stoudemire attended the 2006 USA Basketball camp in Las Vegas, although he ultimately did not play in the 2006 FIBA World Championship. His athletic trainers stated that he had no swelling since his most recent surgery and his strength and flexibility have been "better than ever: almost like superman".
Stoudemire played in the FIBA Americas Championship 2007, but withdrew from the national team for the 2008 Olympics. Jerry Colangelo, managing director for the national team, said, "Amar'e has pulled himself out of consideration for the roster and that's predicated on, despite the fact that he's had an injury-free year coming back, he's a little hesitant on pushing the envelope too hard." Stoudemire had said in April 2008, "It's more than a year-round grind. It's last year and the year before that and the year before that. It's really been like a three-year-round basketball circuit."
Injuries and playoff defeats
Before the 2006–07 season, Stoudemire changed his jersey number from 32 to 1. Dijon Thompson, last wore #1 the previous season.
Stoudemire joined the United States national team once and began practicing with the international team in July, but was dropped from the squad for its trip to Asia because coach Mike Krzyzewski believed he needed a proper chance to fully recover from his knee injuries.
On February 18, 2007, Stoudemire appeared in the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, his second NBA All-Star Game appearance. He scored 29 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, and came in second in MVP voting to winner Kobe Bryant. He had previously announced that he would make the All Star Game in his first season back after his knee recovered.
During the 2007 NBA Playoffs, in a series against the San Antonio Spurs, Stoudemire accused Manu Ginóbili and Bruce Bowen of being "dirty" players. Stoudemire was suspended for Game 5 for leaving the bench area after an altercation between guard Steve Nash and Robert Horry. The Suns lost to the Spurs despite Stoudemire averaging 25 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks throughout the series. The Suns were ousted in six games. Stoudemire finished the season averaging 20.4 points and 9.6 rebounds which is to this day a career high. Stoudemire was selected to the All-NBA First Team.
Stoudemire led the Suns in scoring (25.2 points per game) and rebounds (9.1 per game) in the 2007–08 season. He made the 2008 NBA All-Star team and was named to the 2nd team on the All-NBA Team. Stoudemire also adjusted well to playing with Shaquille O'Neal, who the Suns had acquired in February. The Suns however faltered in the playoffs, again losing to their rivals the San Antonio Spurs. The Suns blew a big lead in game one of the series, and seemed to never recover, losing the series 4–1 to the Spurs. Stoudemire averaged 23 points in the series. After the season, Suns coach Mike D'Antoni left the team to coach the New York Knicks.
With new coach Terry Porter, the Suns game turned more to an emphasis on defense and a more controlled offense. The Suns offensive slowdown affected Stoudemire, whose scoring average dropped about 4 points from the previous season, although he was still leading the team in scoring and rebounding. The Suns also struggled with Terry Porter's system, and were just 28–23 and had lost their last five games just before the 2009 NBA All-Star game. Stoudemire started for the winning Western Conference in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game. On February 19, in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Stoudemire suffered a detached retina, although he may have injured it earlier as he had been bothered by the same eye even before this game. He had injured the same eye in preseason, although this injury involved a partially torn iris, with no damage to his retina. He said then that he would have to wear protective goggles for the rest of his career, but stopped wearing them after seven games. Stoudemire underwent eye surgery to repair the retina. The recovery took eight weeks, which forced him to miss the remainder of the regular season. He announced that he would wear protective goggles when he returned to play the following season.
In the 2009–10 season, Stoudemire was once again named to the All-Star team. During the season, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reported that the Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers discussed a trade that would have sent Stoudemire to Cleveland to pair up with LeBron James; the deal, however, never went through. Stoudemire would eventually lead the Suns to a 54–28 record, clinching the third seed in the Western Conference. Stoudemire finished the season averaging 23 points and 9 rebounds on 56% shooting. The Suns would defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 4–2 during the first round of the playoffs and beat the San Antonio Spurs 4–0 in the Conference Semifinals, to meet the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference Finals. After dropping the first two games, Stoudemire would score 42 points in game 3 and 21 in game 4, to help the Suns tie the series 2–2. After Ron Artest's buzzer beater in game 5 and Kobe Bryant's 37 points in game 6, the Suns lost the series 4–2.
New York Knicks (2010–present)
On June 30, 2010, Stoudemire opted out of his contract with the Phoenix Suns, which made him an unrestricted free agent. On July 5, 2010, Stoudemire and the New York Knicks agreed in principle to a contract estimated to be worth around $99.7 million over five years. On the first day that free agents were allowed to officially sign, the Knicks formally introduced Stoudemire at Madison Square Garden. There Stoudemire proclaimed "the Knicks are back!" referring to the team's lack of success the past few years. With the Knicks, Stoudemire was reunited with head coach Mike D'Antoni, who had coached him with the Suns. On December 15, 2010, in a loss against the Boston Celtics, Stoudemire set a franchise record with his ninth straight 30-point game. On December 17, 2010, Stoudemire set a franchise record with his ninth straight game shooting 50 percent or better from the field. On January 27, 2011, Stoudemire was named a starter on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and Dwight Howard. He became the first Knick player to start in the game since Patrick Ewing. In the game Stoudemire dropped 29 points, which tied him with LeBron James for most on the Eastern Conference team. On February 22, 2011 the Knicks made a 3-team trade with the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves that sent Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks along with the Nuggets' starting point guard Chauncey Billups. In 2011, the Knicks made the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Stoudemire was injured during the playoffs. In game 3, Stoudemire attempted a Willis Reed-like comeback by playing in the game despite a bad back. In the first round of the playoffs, the Knicks were swept by the Boston Celtics. Stoudemire ended up having one of the best seasons in his career, averaging 25.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2 blocks and a career high 2.6 assists. Stoudemire developed a mid-range game and shot a career high 43% from three point range. Stoudemire was named to the All-NBA Second Team.
2011 NBA lockout
During the 2011 NBA lockout, Stoudemire served as a player representative for the Knicks. Stoudemire represented the Knicks along with teammates Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Toney Douglas and Roger Mason, Jr., who was Vice President of the Players Union. Stoudemire considered playing overseas for the Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C. due to his Jewish heritage; instead Stoudemire opted to stay with the players union. Stoudemire appeared on ESPN First Take, where he promoted his new sneaker line, the Nike Air Max Sweep Thru. The conversation quickly veered to the NBA lockout, and Stoudemire predicted the lockout would end on November 14, 2011; however, his prediction was wrong. During the lockout, Stoudemire has trained and taken history seminars at Florida International University. Stoudemire has also dabbled in acting, appearing in the second to last episode of Entourage.
Stoudemire started the Each One, Teach One foundation in 2003. Stoudemire also funded his very own AAU team, named Team STAT. Stoudemire played Wheel of Fortune during its NBA week and donated all his winnings to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Phoenix area. In November 2008, Stoudemire received the NBA's Community Assist Award, for his work with his Each 1, Teach 1 Foundation, and its efforts to provide safe drinking water in Sierra Leone by funding the building of water wells in impoverished villages. Stoudemire visited the country in summer 2008, making visits to water well sites and meeting with President Ernest Bai Koroma and the rest of the cabinet. In 2010 Stoudemire hosted the first Amar'e Stoudemire Basketball Academy in Mali.
Stoudemire has two children with a past girlfriend. One is a boy name Amar'e Jr. and the other a girl named Aré. In 2011, Stoudemire was in a relationship with R&B artist Ciara.
Stoudemire's mother has "mentioned that somewhere back in her lineage there might be some Jewish roots". In a 2010 interview, Stoudemire said: "I have been aware since my youth that I am a Hebrew through my mother, and that is something that has played a subtle but important role in my development." He visited Israel that year, saying he intended "to get a better understanding of my heritage."
In 2011, Stoudemire started his own clothing line which is set to launch at Macy's in the fall of 2011, it was designed with the help of Rachel Roy. Stoudemire described the line as "courtside apparel for the fashion-forward female". Stoudemire also has his own record label named Hypocalypto and has signed rappers from Phoenix to Atlanta. With the label Stoudemire has also worked with T.I.. Stoudemire was featured in the film MacGruber.
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Stoudemire is an American professional basketball player who plays as a power forward and center for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association. He has Jewish roots in his mother's family heritage. Stoudemire has visited Israel and is one of the few players in the league with Jewish ties.
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