Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire — who just wrapped up a successful campaign with the Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv — is reportedly interested in re-upping with the team for another season. That interest is said to be mutual, according to the Israeli outlet ONE, as translated and relayed by Eurohoops.
The 37-year-old Stoudemire joined Maccabi Tel Aviv in January, following a brief stint with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). He eventually became a key contributor — both off the bench and as a spot starter — for the European powerhouse, averaging 8.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest over 17 Israeli Basketball Premiere League contests.
Ultimately, Stoudemire saved his best work for last, spearheading an 86-81 win over Maccabi Rishon in the league’s championship game to help Tel Aviv win its third straight title. In the game, Stoudemire scored a team-high (and individual season-high) 18 points in just 25 minutes of play, adding seven rebounds and making multiple key baskets and free throws in the game’s waning moments. For his efforts, he picked up Final Four MVP honors.
Before making the move abroad in 2016, he enjoyed a 14-year run in the NBA during which he scored nearly 16,000 points and was named to six All-Star teams. He is perhaps best remembered for his eight-year run with the Phoenix Suns, during which he, multi-time MVP Steve Nash and Shawn Marion were the key cogs in coach Mike D’Antoni’s revolutionary “seven seconds or less” offense.
He also spent several years with the New York Knicks, but injuries ultimately got the best of him. His career in the NBA would eventually culminate in forgettable stints with the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.
Nevertheless, over 846 career games, he averaged just under 19 points, nine rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest. He was also an important factor in several playoff runs, appearing in 78 postseason games.
Stoudemire’s reported interest in continuing his career in Israel stands in contrast to remarks he made in late June, when he hinted at retirement.
“I think I’m wrapping up soon. I’m missing my family,” Stoudemire said in an interview with Fox Sports‘ Kelsey Nelson, as seen on YouTube.
“I’ve been away playing overseas for four years now. It takes six-seven months per year to play. And I’m missing my children so it’s been tough these last four years playing overseas for me,” he added.
Stoudemire isn’t the only former NBA All-Star who may be on the verge of playing another season abroad. As relayed by The Inquisitr earlier this month, Pau Gasol is reportedly zeroing in on a move to Barcelona to play one more year, although the club has since denied that anything is in the works.