Standing next to an Excedrin placard that asked, "What's Your Headache?", at one of several marketing events on his offseason schedule, Amar'e Stoudemire found coincidental humor in the convergence of a group of Knicks beat writers. But the questions weren't about his head, which seemed clear and refreshed six weeks after the Knicks season ended in a first round sweep to the Boston Celtics.
His back, however, remains an issue.
"Still tight," he said. "Yeah, it's still pretty tight with certain movements."
That would be the muscle in his lower back, which he strained during warmups before Game 2 of that series against Boston. The injury limited Stoudemire to less than 18 minutes in that game and he struggled through the final two games of the series at Madison Square Garden.
Is it a major issue, perhaps something more serious than initially diagnosed? Stoudemire said no.
"It's a strained muscle," he said, "it takes a while to get that motion back."
Stoudemire seemed fine while moving around during the Excedrin event, which was held at the Chelsea Piers Sports Center. He took a few photo op jump shots (while wearing a suit) and was in great spirits (as would you if you had recently spent a week vacationing on Turks and Caicos).
The back discomfort hasn't limited his normal workout routine. Stoudemire said he has been working out and focusing a lot of his effort on strengthening his core muscles.
"It's still a little sore," he said. "But it's better today."
Stoudemire watched the Finals, but not that closely. This is his time to spend with his three children. He's also currently selling his South Beach penthouse property and has made Los Angeles his home base for the offseason. It is there he plans to get together with his Knicks teammates -- Carmelo Anthony also calls L.A. home in the offseason -- in late July to begin preparing for the next season.
Stoudemire will remain in New York another day, to receive a Father of the Year award from the National Father/Mother of the Year Council before he spends the weekend with his kids in L.A. for Father's Day and his daughter's birthday, which is Monday.
Here are a pair of photos posted to @alanhahn on Twitter. Click to enlarge.