Amar’e over D-Lee

5 08 2010

I’ve had an ongoing Twitter debate with another sportswriter, Susan Shan, about the merits of the New York Knicks signing Amar’e Stoudemire instead of David Lee.

She has argued that Amar’e isn’t worth close to the $100 million the Knicks gave him because of his poor defense, lack of post moves and reliance on Steve Nash to keep his game at an All-Star level.

I’ve argued that he’s a dynamic player and one whom lends credibility to the Knicks. Sure, he’s not a good defensive player but he is better than Lee. He averaged 20 points and 8 rebounds in his rookie season, when Stephon Marbury — as opposite a point guard from Nash as you’ll ever find — was running the show for the Suns. And he’s undeniably a great “roller” in the pick-and-roll, which will be used ad nauseam in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

An elaboration on the ‘credibility’ that I see Amar’e giving the Knicks — Lee never gave them the same kind of credibility. It’s an important issue. The Knicks have been relevant for all the wrong reasons throughout the past decade. But Stoudemire is a legitimate star. He’s a five-time All-Star, a Rookie of the Year and a former Olympian. His presence on the Knicks makes them more palatable to other star players. That Chris Paul reportedly put the Knicks on his short list of desired teams to which he’d like to be traded shows the significance of the Amar’e signing.

New York City is the biggest media market in the United States and one of the biggest in the world. To have a team located there that doesn’t garner much attention is an embarrassing proposition for any sports league. The NBA has lived with that realization for too long. That’s why I have argued that Amar’e signing with the Knicks is important not just for the improvement he’ll bring on the court. It’s important for how the franchise’s reputation will solidify with him and future stars looking to play there.




2 responses

6 08 2010
Susan Shan

Stephon Marbury was great before he got traded. Or did we all just forget how high his stock was back then?

6 08 2010

You and I haven’t forgotten. I wouldn’t say he was ‘great’ but absolutely a very effective player. But my point was that Amar’e doesn’t just need a Nash-type point guard to be an All-Star. He was very good with Marbury, who even when he was at his best was never an inspiring player or a leader, never the kind of guy who made other players better. Not that Felton is incredible but he’ll help Amar’e. It’s not like Amar’e really needs him to be effective anyway.

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