STAT to play in Israel?

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks has never shied away from his apparent Jewish roots and his comments to the New York Post make it sound like he’s ready to explore further. STAT is part-owner of Hapoel Jerusalem and expressed his interest in playing for the team he owns once his current contract is up. With the big man aging and a shell of his former self such a move wouldn’t surprise me, but yet it would.

Stoudemire’s late surge, during which he played near his All-Star level the season’s final month, could prompt him to seek another NBA contract after 2014-15 when his $100 million pact expires. But he’s also mulling Israel to boost its profile.

“We’ll see,’’ Stoudemire told The Post. “You can’t rule anything out. The future is unknown and so if I have an opportunity to [play in Israel] and am still in great health, it would be great. I have one more year left on my deal and we’ll go from there.’’ (New York Post)

In my opinion it will all come down to the money, not his health like he says. Amar’e will make $23.5 million next season, the last year of his contract with the Knicks. After that he’ll be a free agent and free to choose where he goes, so yes Israel will be an option.

The question though is this, if he has a productive 2014-2015 season will his desire to play HIS team outweigh the money he could receive in the NBA? That I’m not so sure of so as of now STAT will continue in his current role as part owner and recruiter.

“Input is very important, knowing the game and recruiting, knowing players here in America,’’ said Stoudemire, who was in on the decision to hire a new coach — former 76ers general manager Brad Greenberg — and new GM Guy Harel. “I get calls from guys who’ve played in the league and want to know about playing for Hapoel. I make a call to the GM and ask him to take a look and see if they fit the brand.’’(New York Post)

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