Stoudemire Willing to Come Off the Bench

Amar’e Stoudemire tells Newsday’s Al Iannazzone that he would not have a problem with it if head coach Mike Woodson asked him to come off the bench when he is ready to make his return to the lineup, something that could actually happen as soon as this weekend.Amar'e Stoudemire

“Whatever it takes to win,” Stoudemire said Tuesday. “You guys know me. Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been all about winning and been a total team player. So whatever it takes to win, that’s the goal.”

Stoudemire’s role has been the source of considerable speculation, as some see a spot in the second unit as a way to free he and Carmelo from having to mesh their games together, something that proved to be a problem a season ago. Woodson hasn’t yet disclosed how he’s planning on handling Amar’e’s return, but has said in the past that he still views him as a starter.

Brian DiMenna

I’ll simply welcome Stoudemire’s return in whatever role Woodson sees fit, but l’ve often felt like Amar’e’s general unselfishness has gone somewhat overlooked since he arrived in New York. Stoudemire was essentially forced to take an almost immediate backseat upon the arrival of Carmelo Anthony, something he’s never even remotely complained about, even though the pairing has yielded decidedly mixed results to date.

People often forget how much the pre-Melo Knicks were built around Stoudemire, with players like Felton, Chandler and Gallinari clearly in complimentary roles. Instead, the team, and well, pretty much the entire franchise is now almost entirely the property of Anthony, something that if it bothers STAT, he hasn’t made a peep about it.

It’s as if Stoudemire invited Anthony to join his band and then found himself all, “Yeah, sure we can play some songs you wrote … Oh, you’re going to sing ‘em … Ok, yeah, you can play lead guitar … Um, yeah, a tamborine’s fine for me, if that’s what you think … change the name? The Melos? I mean, yeah, I guess I like it.”

It’s the type of attitude that maybe should be a given, but considering the nature of most professional athletes, it shouldn’t be entirely taken for granted either.

Follow Brian on Twitter