Knicks lose Stoudemire for first six weeks of season
The $100 million given to Amare Stoudemire a few seasons ago by the Knicks is looking more and more questionable with the news that Stoudemire will miss at least the first six weeks of the season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee.
The news comes as a blow to the Knicks, who initially expected Stoudemire to return within two to three weeks after he ruptured a popliteal cyst behind the knee during the Knicks’ exhibition game against Toronto on Oct. 19. But after Stoudemire received a second opinion over the weekend from Dr. Thomas Carter, the Phoenix Suns team doctor, it was determined he would need more time to heal. Carter performed microfracture surgery on Stoudemire’s left knee in 2005.
It is not clear whether Stoudemire will use the extra time off to have a procedure or for rest and rehab. Stoudemire’s injury is to the same knee on which he had microfracture surgery in 2005.
When he was a free agent in 2010, his history of knee injuries scared off most teams and only the Knicks were willing to offer him a five-year, $100 million contract. Because of the condition of his knees, the contract is uninsured. He began camp complaining of a bone bruise in his left knee and more or less avoided the media for a few weeks. Then, after a brief one-preseason game return (he scored 18 points against Toronto), Stoudemire went back on the shelf because of a ruptured a popliteal cyst behind the knee that he supposedly suffered in the preseason game against the Raptors.
Fellow forward Marcus Camby (calf) hopes to be ready for the season opener Thursday at Brooklyn, but even the veteran admitted that extended minutes weren’t likely because he hasn’t been able to practice. And since Rasheed Wallace’s conditioning has prevented him from practicing until recently, Carmelo Anthony seems like the best bet to step in at power forward. (Kurt Thomas is another option, but he might be the Knicks’ backup center at the moment)
Knicks could lose Amare Stoudemire for season
The New York Knicks’ push to hang onto the final playoff spot in the East could take a major blow on Tuesday depending on what a specialist says about Amare Stoudemire’s back problem. An answer could come today about whether or not he needs season-ending surgery.
Stoudemire is officially out “indefinitely” after an MRI revealed a bulging disk in his lower back, the team announced. He missed Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The team said that Stoudemire will undergo nonsurgical treatment for the back injury and will treat it with rehabilitation. But coach Mike Woodson did not rule out the possibility that Stoudemire could need surgery in the future.
After Monday night, the Knicks will have just 15 games left in the regular season, giving Stoudemire little time to recover if he undergoes surgery. Stoudemire has had back issues in the past.
The 29-year-old pulled a muscle in his back during the 2011 playoffs. He needed most of the NBA’s five-month lockout to rehab the injury, playing in a five-on-five game just once during the lockout. Plus, the wear and tear on his body over the years has taken a toll. Stoudemire has lost some of his explosiveness, which could be traced to the back problem. His productivity has been down this season. The 29-year-old is averaging 17.6 points and eight rebounds in 43 games but in his last five games he averaged 18 points and shot 57%.
The Knicks lead Milwaukee by 21/2 games for the final playoff spot in the East after beating the Bucks, 89-80, Monday night at the Garden. Stoudemire was unavailable for comment Monday and instead was en route to Miami to seek a second opinion.
Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony stepped up big time with 28 points on Monday but played through pain after injuring his groin in the third quarter. Anthony hopes to play Wednesday against the Magic, but he can’t guarantee that. When he strained his groin last month, he missed seven games.
No Carmelo or Stoudemire for Knicks on Wednesday
The New York Knicks troublesome season just got a bit worse as the Knicks will be without superstar Carmelo Anthony for 1-2 weeks after he strained his groin in Monday’s 99-88 victory over the Utah Jazz.
Having played less than six minutes and scored only two points, Anthony headed to the locker room to deal with his groin and was in street clothes before the game ended. He appeared to injure his groin after throwing an alley-oop to Tyson Chandler midway through the first quarter. Anthony faked a 3-point attempt on the play, pulled up and passed to Chandler. After the play, Anthony hobbled to the other end of the floor, clutching his upper thigh.
The Knicks don’t want to rush him back as groin strains can linger. Bill Walker will start in Melo’s spot. Anthony is averaging 22.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Melo has suffered several injuries this season. He missed two games in late January with left wrist (non shooting), right thumb and right ankle injuries. Earlier in the month, he tried to play through the injuries but struggled with his shot.
In the six games Anthony played after hurting his ankle and wrist, he shot just 40 for 126. He seemed to find his shot after the recent two-game absence, averaging a little over 25 points per game in his first three games back. But Anthony scored 11 points and missed 12 of 15 shots against New Jersey on Saturday. He had just the two points before getting hurt against Utah.
Anthony could miss up to eight games if he has to sit out through the Knicks’ game Feb. 20 against the Nets.
The next game for the 10-15 Knicks is Wednesday against the Washington Wizards. New York is currently in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, a game out of playoff contention. And the Knicks won’t have Amare Stoudemire for that one, either. He sat out Monday’s game because his brother died in a Florida car accident early Monday morning. He will remain with his grieving family for the time being.
Kobe, Amare, Carmelo may be next to play overseas
With the rather surprising news that New Jersey Nets All-Star guard Deron Williams has signed to play in Turkey next season – for a cool $500,000 per month – if there is an NBA lockout, other NBA stars already are kicking the tires on doing the same thing.
In fact, the same Turkish team that signed Williams, Beskitas of Istanbul, would like to add Kobe as well.
“We want Kobe Bryant now,” Beskitas coach Ergin Ataman said.
Bryant grew up in Italy and likes life overseas. In addition, he has a huge endorsement deal with Turkish Airlines. Reportedly he is interested in listening to some overseas offers as he is probably the most popular NBA player in Europe.
“If Kobe doesn’t want to miss a whole season if there’s a lockout, and likes to live in one of Europe’s greatest cities, in Istanbul, and wants to play with Deron Williams, why not?” Ataman said.
Bryant still has three years and $83 million left on his contract in LA. Should he get seriously injured playing in another pro league, the Lakers could void the contract. Williams was taking less of a risk because he will become a free agent after next season.
Knicks stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire have said they are now kicking the tires on going to Europe – like Bryant, they are on long-term contracts. Roger Mason Jr., a vice president with the players’ union, said that both Knicks stars have contacted him about Williams’ situation and inquired about the rules and insurance information.
“I can see anybody doing it,” said Mason Jr. said. “This is what people have to understand. It’s definitely about earning a living, but we’ve already been so blessed, a lot of guys love the game and want to be able to compete . . . I’ve talked to a lot of the star players, Chris Paul, Amar’e, Melo, I think that those guys are open-minded to everything.”
Normally NBA players couldn’t be allowed to play in Europe because they are under NBA contract. But because ownership locked the players out, those contracts are essentially suspended and the NBA can do nothing about players going to Europe.
Knicks’ Stoudemire likely, Billups iffy for Game 3 vs. Celtics
Amare Stoudemire thinks he will play in the New York Knicks’ must-win home Game 3 against the Boston Celtics, but he and point guard Chauncey Billups, who missed Game 2’s loss, both missed practice Thursday.
Stoudemire stayed home to receive treatment on his ailing back, which had forced him to miss the second half of Game 2.The Knicks are describing Stoudemire’s ailment as a pulled muscle in his back, and he is listed as day to day. An MRI on Stoudemire’s lower back came back clean. He was hurt while dunking during pregame warmups Tuesday. He played most of the first half before leaving for good with back spasms. Stoudemire, who had 28 points and 11 rebounds in the Knicks’ Game 1 loss, was in so much pain that he had to stand during his postgame news conference. He also needed a team trainer to help him put on his socks and shoes after the game.
Shawne Williams replaced Stoudemire at power forward in the second half on Tuesday as Carmelo Anthony single-handedly kept the Knicks in the game. Anthony tied a career playoff high with 42 points and set a career playoff high with 17 rebounds.
Billups, who has a knee injury, actually was at practice but didn’t participate. He is listed as questionable for Game 3 of the first-round series Friday night, the first Knicks playoff game at Madison Square Garden in seven years. He had fluid drained from his injured left knee Thursday and also received a cortisone shot in attempt to play in Game 3 on Friday.
“Chauncey’s doing everything he can to get back out there,” said a Knicks official. “This is killing him. He feels they would have won both games if he was out there at the end.”
The Knicks are cautiously optimistic that the veteran point guard will be available at some point in the series but privately many in the organization feel he needs at least a week to recover.
Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire plans to play in Game 3 vs. Celtics
Knicks star Amare Stoudemire said expects to be ready for New York’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Celtics after back spasms sidelined him for the entire second half of their 96-93 loss on Tuesday night that gave the Boston Celtics a 2-0 lead.
“I should be ready for Game 3,” he said after the game, standing instead of sitting behind the podium at his postgame news conference. “We’ll see how it goes (Wednesday) and next day, but I’m pretty sure – I’m hoping – I’ll be ready Friday.”
Stoudemire said he believed he hurt himself during pregame warm-ups on a dunk.
“I touched the top of the glass with my left hand and dunked it with my right,” he said. “I think that’s when I felt it really get tight on me. I’ve never had back spasms before, so I guess it’s a normal back spasm.”
He said that injury continued to plague him early in the game and that he could hardly move. He went to the training staff prior to tipoff to get it worked on, but their efforts proved to be futile.
“I played through the first quarter and second quarter, after that it was a sharp pain and I couldn’t continue,” Stoudemire said.
His status for Friday has not yet been determined. He’ll attempt to practice Wednesday and Thursday, and then see how it goes from there.
Stoudemire finished with four points and five rebounds in 17 minutes, 39 seconds. In the opener, he had 28 points and 11 rebounds but the Knicks lost 87-85. The Knicks still don’t know the status of point guard Chauncey Billups for Game 3. He missed Tuesday’s game with a strained left knee suffered in the final minute of the opener and will have an MRI on Wednesday.
Tuesday NBA: Amare Stoudemire out as Knicks host Bulls
Despite the fact the Chicago Bulls have wrapped up the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Coach Tom Thibodeau apparently wants his team to stay focused and won’t sit any starters despite the fact that tonight’s game against the Knicks is essentially meaningless. The Bulls are 7.5-point favorites on WagerWeb.com. Plus the Bulls are still trying to catch the Spurs for the league’s best record and home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Bulls star Derrick Rose has a head cold but said he wouldn’t ask for any minutes off. Plus Thibodeau wants to prove a point. The Knicks are the only team the Bulls haven’t beaten this season, and they lost the season series for the first time since 2000-01. This is the Bulls’ first look at the new-look Knicks, who have won seven straight.
This will be Carmelo Anthony’s first game with New York against Chicago, and the Bulls expect to finally be at full strength. Carlos Boozer sat out the first meeting, a 120-112 home loss Nov. 4, and Joakim Noah was sidelined in a 103-95 defeat at MSG on Dec. 25. Anthony won his second straight Player of the Week Award on Monday coming off his game-winning shot and block in Indiana. Anthony led the Knicks to a 4-0 week, averaging 28.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and shooting 53 percent from 3-point range.
These two haven’t met since Amare Stoudemire’s 20 points and 10 rebounds led the Knicks to that Christmas Day victory. But the Bulls don’t have to worry about Stoudemire. He is out tonight and almost assuredly in the regular-season finale vs. Boston on Wednesday.
Stoudemire, who’s missed the previous two games because of a sprained left ankle, wants to be 100 percent when he does play and that takes priority over his desire to regain some rhythm before the start of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Celtics. Coach Mike D’Antoni said he expects to be ready for Game 1 which, although not officially announced, is likely to be played Sunday in Boston.
Knicks’ Stoudemire will play Wednesday vs. Atlanta
New York Knicks All-Star forward/center Amare Stoudemire, after sitting out Saturday’s Knicks 105-95 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night with a sprained right big toe, will play on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks, although his participation in the All-Star Game is in doubt.
Stoudemire said he suffered the injury during Friday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers when he collided with Ron Artest while running down the court. Stoudemire is averaging 26.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game for the Knicks (27-26). He was named the team’s first All-Star starter since Patrick Ewing in the last 1990s.
“I’m not sure. We’ll see how the toe feels after the game tomorrow and go from there,” Stoudemire said Tuesday of playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
Stoudemire participated in a full-contact scrimmage Tuesday with the Knicks as they prepared to play their final game prior to the All-Star break. However, the NBA usually makes players play in the All-Star Game unless they sat out their team’s final game before the break with an injury.
“The toe is a little sore still, but I was able to persevere through the soreness and practice today, so I feel pretty good,” Stoudemire said. “It feels much better than three days ago. Three days ago I could hardly walk on it. Now I can run and jump. I haven’t tried to really jump explosive yet, I’m going to try more tomorrow. But it’s so far, so good.”
After the Hawks game New York does not play until a week from Wednesday against Milwaukee. D’Antoni said the Knicks are not looking at it as a chance to give Stoudemire an extended rest by not playing him. If he also skips the All-Star Game, Stoudemire would have 11 days off.
“No. No. Wednesday’s a big game for us,” D’Antoni said.