Amar’e Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star who played 4 1⁄2 seasons with the Knicks, is retiring, the team announced in a statement Tuesday.
Stoudemire, 33, signed a one-day contract so he could retire as a Knick. During his 14-season NBA career, he also played for Phoenix, Dallas and, most recently, Miami.
“Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained in the Big Apple,” Stoudemire said in a statement. “Once a Knick, always a Knick.”
Stoudemire’s best years came in Phoenix, where he played his first eight seasons and went to the Western Conference finals three times. When the Knicks signed him as a free agent before the 2010-11 season, it gave them instant credibility, and it was a major factor in their trading for Carmelo Anthony midway through that season.
Although he became increasingly less effective as he suffered a series of injuries, Stoudemire did help lead the Knicks to playoff appearances in each of his first three years with the team. In one of his more memorable moments, Stoudemire suffered a cut after punching a fire extinguisher box outside the visitors’ locker room after a Game 2 loss to the Heat in the first round of the 2012 playoffs. After missing Game 3, he had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Knicks snapped a 13-game postseason losing streak.
The good times in New York ended for Stoudemire after he helped lead the Knicks to a 54-28 record and the Eastern Conference semifinals during the 2012-13 season. With knee troubles continuing to plague him, he agreed to a buyout with the Knicks during 2014-15 season. After joining the Mavericks for a playoff run in 2015, he played his final season in Miami, averaging 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds.
The 6-10 power forward/center averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in his career. Stoudemire apparently approached the Knicks asking if he could sign his final contract with them.
“For parts of six years, Amar’e Stoudemire was the face of the New York Knicks franchise because of his excellence on the court and his dedication to our community and our fans across the world,” general manager Steve Mills said. “When Amar’e asked us to retire as a Knick, we were honored to oblige.”