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Nash says Stoudemire will flourish with Knicks

Amar'e Stoudemire poses outside Madison Square Garden. (July

Amar'e Stoudemire poses outside Madison Square Garden. (July 5, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

HARRISON, N.J. - If anyone knows Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks' newly signed power forward, it's Steve Nash, his former teammate of six years.

Nash, who was on hand to watch the Red Bulls play D.C. United in an MLS match Saturday night at Red Bull Arena, talked glowingly of his former running mate.

"New York's going to love Amar'e," Nash said. "He's as exciting as they come."

Nash, who joined the Phoenix Suns before the 2004-05 season, was instrumental in Stoudemire's growth as a player. But he insisted Stoudemire will be able to flourish on his own.

"I think he'll love it," Nash said. "This city can eat people up. I think he'll take it all on and enjoy it."

Losing Stoudemire is painful for Nash, who said the two got along well.

"Obviously, we had a great relationship and a connectivity on the court," Nash said. "Our kids play together and I'm sad to see him go. But New York's going to love him."

Much was made of the relationship between Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni and Stoudemire, particularly its reported deterioration toward the end of D'Antoni's run as Suns coach.

"I think that's overblown," Nash said. "Maybe they had a moment or two of disagreement, but overall, Mike and Amar'e had a great relationship."

Nash believes the two will make a great tandem.

"Mike and Amar'e know each other so well [there is] not going to be a transition period,'' Nash said. "They'll be flying out the gates."

Adding point guard Raymond Felton to the Knicks' mix could make for an exciting season, Nash said.

"When you get to play with great players, it makes everybody better," Nash said. "Amar'e is a fantastic player and he's going to make the whole team better."

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