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Amar'e Stoudemire retires after signing an honorary contract with the Knicks

Former Heat center Amar'e Stoudemire, 33, announced his retirement on Tuesday and did so by signing an honorary one-day contract with the New York Knicks.

Amar'e Stoudemire"I want to thank [Knicks owner James] Dolan, [team president] Phil [Jackson] and [general manager] Steve [Mills], for signing me so that I can officially retire as a New York Knick,." Stoudemire said in a statement released by the team. "I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise and we did just that. Carmelo [Anthony], Phil and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year's acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again. Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained in the Big Apple. Once a Knick, Always a Knick."

Though his role with the Heat wasn't quite what it was when he was with the Knicks or the Phoenix Suns, Stoudemire did make an impact in Miami. 

After signing a one-year, veterans minimum contract with the Heat last summer and playing in only three games before Christmas, Stoudemire played a key role after Hassan Whiteside went down with an injury on Jan. 20 at Washington.

He started 36 consecutive games -- even after Whiteside returned -- and averaged 6.6 points, 5.2 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game over the stretch. The Heat went 23-13 with Stoudemire in the starting lineup.

But after the first two games of opening round playoff series against the Charlotte Hornets, Stoudemire's role quickly diminished.

He didn't play in Games 5 through 7 against the Hornets and sat out the final two games of Miami's season-ending series loss to the Toronto Raptors -- even with Whiteside out. Stoudemire expressed his dissatisfaction with his lack of playing time after Miami was eliminated.

In 14 seasons, Stoudemire averaged 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and played in 846 games for the Suns, Knicks and Mavericks. He was named to five All-NBA teams (two first teams, three second teams) and was the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year. He played for the United States in the 2004 Olympics.

Stoudemire spent his first eight seasons in the league with the Suns and made five All-Star appearances with Phoenix, but obviously felt a closer connection to the Knicks than any other team he played for.

The Knicks went to the playoffs three times with Stoudemire on the roster, but never got out of the first round. New York was swept by the Celtics in 2011, lost 4-1 to the Heat in 2012 and then lost 4-2 to the Pacers in 2013. 




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