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Amar’e Stoudemire has discussed playing in Israel

Apr 15, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

Amar'e Stoudemire, Taj Gibson Amar'e Stoudemire, Taj Gibson

When Amar’e Stoudemire said “On paper, we might be the best team in the league,” maybe he meant his other team. That would sure make more sense than referring to the Knicks.

He’s a part owner of Hapoel Jerusalem, which is second in the Israeli Basketball Super League. The team is clearly on the rise, and maybe it could get a big boost.

Stoudemire has an early termination option and can become a free agent this offseason. He won’t because that would mean turning down a $23,410,988 salary. But in 2015, when his contract expires?

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Israeli-American Ori Allon, who heads the Hapoel ownership group, said he has had discussions with Stoudemire about playing for Hapoel Jerusalem. Allon has a goal of making Hapoel into the same recognizable brand as Maccabi Tel Aviv and believes Stoudemire’s addition — as owner or player — has put the team on that path.

“We’ve discussed it in the past,’’ Allon said. “It would be tremendous and unbelievable but it’s still early. I think it’s a real possibility, but he played very well this season so it’s up to him.’’

“We’ll see,’’ Stoudemire told The Post. “You can’t rule anything out. The future is unknown and so if I have an opportunity to [play in Israel] and am still in great health, it would be great. I have one more year left on my deal and we’ll go from there.’’

Many more NBA players discuss ending their careers overseas than actually come close to doing so. Even Stoudemire, who has openly explored his Jewish roots, said he was considering playing in Israel during the lockout and never did. Putting NBA money at risk is rarely justifiable.

Amin Vafa of Hardwood Paroxysm pegged this saga perfectly:

  1. cantonb0und13 - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Why would he leave the most talented team in the NBA? Shouldn’t he be focusing on the playoffs? Oh wait… What a pathetic franchise.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      They’re a lot like you.

      • cantonb0und13 - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        Agree.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        Would you stop piling on cantonb0und13? He’s had a reawakening; he’s realized the error of his ways.

  2. chargerdillon - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    I keep asking myself…….would Amare even end up the MVP in the Israel league? Probably not

  3. m4a188 - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    He wants that Zionist money.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      It’s just as good as the Goys’.

    • redbaronx - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      @m4a188 – I suppose you think Zionist money isn’t as good as the “Hamas Killer All-Stars” team or the “Hezbollah Hackers”

      • m4a188 - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Don’t worry soon Palestine will no longer exist..

      • redbaronx - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        @m4a188 – Israel is doing just fine and so are the Palestinians. I’m not worried at all, though it seems you have some interest in one of them not existing.

  4. drewzducks - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Oy vey.

  5. sportsfan18 - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    It’s because he KNOWS he isn’t going to make hardly any coin here in the states on his next contract…

    He’ll leave where he’ll be able to make MORE money…

    Kinda sad as it MIGHT (not saying it does for sure) hint that he needs money before retiring even though he will have earned OVER $165 million dollars in his career by the time he finishes with the Knicks after next season…

    With having earned that much money, if it were me, I’d try to catch on with a team with a real shot at the title for the veteran minimum for a yr or two… as after earning over $165 million, chasing a title would mean more to me than playing overseas…

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