No, it isn’t because naysayers doubt that Melo and Stat don’t have the skill-sets to play along with one another on the court. It’s because the two All-Stars have never been healthy at the same time.
Most of the time it’s Stoudemire on the sidelines dealing with knee injuries. It’s been that way for most of Anthony’s tenure with the Knicks.
So when it was discovered Stoudemire underwent another knee procedure and may miss the start of the 2013-14 season, it wasn’t surprising his teammate was disappointed.
“As a friend, it’s hard for me to sit back and act like it doesn’t bother me because I know how hard of a worker he is (and) I know the time that he puts in the gym to train and rehab,” Anthony told ESPN NY Tuesday. “To see him go forward and then take some steps back every time, it’s just sad.”
Stoudemire will miss the Knicks’ first three preseason games as he recovers from his third knee procedure in the last year. A year ago Stoudemire played in just 29 regular-season games due to the injury.
Asked if he ever thinks he’ll be able to play alongside a healthy Stoudemire, Melo remains confident.
“Yeah, I think about it. I think about (it) sometimes,” he said. “He was one of the reasons why I wanted to come to New York. So for me not to have that chance — the opportunity to get a full season in and get a rhythm going with him — it’s not something I thought would happen.”
When Stoudemire can contribute and how much remains a question at this point. When healthy last season, he averaged 14 points and five boards in 23 minutes per game.
For a Knicks squad preparing for an even deeper playoff run, Stoudemire could be a key cog in the rotation.
“It’s another weapon that we need,” said Anthony, who added he hopes Stoudemire doesn’t try to rush back from the injury. “We could have used him last season at certain points. For him to get a fresh start off of this season, we need him. He’s a big key to this team’s success.”
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