Amar’e Stoudemire: I rejected NBA offers to fulfill Israel ‘dream’
Amar’e Stoudemire never won an NBA championship, but now has eyes on winning the Israeli League and European title.
The former Knicks All-Star officially announced Monday he was joining Hapoel Jerusalem on a two-year contract after retiring from the NBA last week. Stoudemire, 33, said he turned down several offers from non-playoff-caliber NBA teams to fulfill “a dream come true.”
Stoudemire will have to sell his ownership stake in the team in order to join the roster. He will be penciled in at center.
“This is a very, very emotional decision for me because at this moment, I have to uproot my family who have been stable in the U.S. to move to a different country,’’ Stoudemire said at a Garden press conference. “It’s also a spiritual journey as well. The next phase of my career – people have documented my journey with the Holy Land the last six years, the interest in playing in Israel. That dream has come true.’’
Stoudemire, who played parts of five seasons with the Knicks after signing a $100 million contract, played last season with the Heat, but wanted to ceremonially retire as a Knick. He signed a non-guaranteed contract last week.
Stoudemire said he briefly talked to the Knicks about attending training camp, but admitted: “Their roster became pretty full.’’
Stoudemire would have stayed in the States for a deal with a title contender such as Golden State. He also said he broached
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