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Loss to Magic may have been Amar'e Stoudemire's finale as Knick

New York Knicks center Andrea Bargnani, left, center

New York Knicks center Andrea Bargnani, left, center Amar'e Stoudemire and guard Jose Calderon, right, watch from the bench during final seconds of the second half of an NBA game against the Orlando Magic in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. Credit: AP / Phelan M. Ebenhack

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Amar'e Stoudemire has tried to keep his emotions in check and focus on playing for the Knicks as long as he's wearing their uniform. But he acknowledged that could have happened for the last time Wednesday night.

More than ever, he sounded as if he has one foot out the door and the other not far behind.

After an 89-83 loss to the Magic, he talked about time ticking on his chances to win a championship. Stoudemire also said that as the final seconds wound down, he thought about it being the end of his career as a Knick.

The Knicks, owners of an NBA-worst 10-43 record, are fully rebuilding, and Stoudemire said he would use the All-Star break to decide whether to ask for a buyout so he can sign with a contender. But it seems as if that decision has been made.

His agent Happy Walters said in a text and on SiriusXM NBA Radio Wednesday that he has spoken to the Knicks about Stoudemire's future. Those talks will continue with the extended break here and the California-based Walters in New York.

"Playing these 13 years and through the few injuries, Father Time is ticking,'' Stoudemire, 32, said. "So you want to take advantage of good health when you can and try to win a championship when you can. But that's still a conversation I've got to have in the near future and I'll go from there.''

It could be a busy break with a lot of turnover for the Knicks. The trade deadline is next Thursday. The Knicks play their next game the following night. Stoudemire, who is in the final year of his contract, could be waived by then.

If it was his finale as a Knick, it wasn't memorable. Stoudemire, who grew up in nearby Lake Wales, shot 0-for-3 and had five points in 14 minutes off the bench. He wasn't on the floor when the game ended, but his mind was on his time as a Knick coming to a close.

"I thought about it,'' he said. "To think about all the things I was able to start and influence New York State and the city. But I'm still here. Nothing's changed yet. But it's definitely kind of a bittersweet moment, going over all the joyful things that I have accomplished in New York.''

Stoudemire was the first piece when the Knicks rebuilt in 2010. He famously said, "The Knicks are back,'' after agreeing to a five-year, $100-million contract. Now the Knicks are back to shedding salary and looking to upgrade their talent so they don't have to endure another season like this.

The Knicks have four players with fully guaranteed deals for next season. The only one assured to return is Carmelo Anthony, who missed Wednesday night's game with a sore left knee.

By the end of next week, Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani and Pablo Prigioni could be ex-Knicks, too. Calderon has two years and $15.1 million left on his deal. Prigioni has a small guarantee for next season. Bargnani's contract is expiring. If the Knicks can't trade him, they could buy him out and waive him.

Two playoff teams, the Mavericks and Clippers, reportedly would have an interest in Stoudemire if he were available. He would have to be waived by March 1 to be playoff eligible.

"The bitter part is it's a tough decision that in the near future I've got to make,'' Stoudemire said. "But I dwell on all the great memories and try to build more if I can.''

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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