Breaking down an athlete’s psyche can be complicated business.
Typically, even the worst performer at the professional level was once an alpha dog in their sport at some point before reaching the big time. Not surprisingly, placing a group of said individuals with similar mindsets, attitudes and egos in close quarters for extended periods of time can lead to highly combustible situations — especially when the losses add up and the fingers are pointed. Needless to say, playing in New York for the Knicks takes things to an entirely different level, one where self-awareness and an understanding of one’s role is absolutely integral to success both on and off the court.
Now, I know it’s not in the NBA, but, this past week, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick, gave a great example of how self-awareness can be beneficial to a team. Vick understood that his backup at the beginning of the year, Nick Foles, earned the right to lead the team from the start of the game. Foles earned the right, through his play, to start and Michael Vick didn’t put up a stink, but, rather, he accepted what happened and put his support behind his teammate.
Much like Vick, Amar’e Stoudemire, at one point in time, was one of the most polarizing, explosive and successful athletes in his sport. Both Stoudemire and Vick held a stature of high regard, within their own leagues.
Vick has come to the realization that his time in Philadelphia has passed, while Stoudemire has yet to make the same conclusion with the Knicks.
Yes, Stoudemire is coming off back-to-back solid performances, but his recent offensive play has not been enough to overcome his poor fit on the roster and lack of defensive awareness. Amar’e still believes that he is his old self — a NBA player he no longer is. This belief leads to his mindset that he is still a leader and one of the voices that needs to be heard in the Knicks’ locker room. Without this feeling, Stoudemire would not have said, ”when the ball don’t move, it makes it tough for the rest of the guys to have fun out there. And right now, we’re not having fun. Teams that move the ball win. Teams that don’t lose. It’s pretty simple.” Thanks to the Wall Street Journal for the quote, which followed New York’s loss to the Blazers on Monday night.
Is he specifically talking about Carmelo Anthony?
I don’t know.
Do I personally think he is talking about Carmelo Anthony?
Is part of what Amar’e is saying true?
Yes, the Knicks’ offense has died this season because of poor roster construction, which has led the team away from what worked so well last season.
It’s not all Anthony’s fault, though.
While ‘Melo and the lack of Chandler and Felton have negatively impacted the Knicks, in my opinion, the biggest problem for the Knicks has been Stoudemire’s lack of self-awareness — his inability to comprehend he is just as guilty as anyone on the roster for a lack of continuity. His presence and lack of ability to functionally play center, forces Melo out of his best position.
Does Amar’e even know what the word kick out and re-entry pass means in relation to a post up?
STAT is no longer the pick-and-roll maven he once was with Steve Nash or even Felton in his first year with the Knicks. His diminished offensive skills, combined with his salary and feeling of superiority with his talents, have created an incredibly awkward situation.
Stoudemire claims to be all about the team, but all he is doing is hurting them with his play and now his words too.
Amar’e Stoudemire would do be doing everyone a favor, the organization, his teammates and the fans if he came to grips with the player he actually is and not the player he believes himself to be.
This would be a step in regaining the trust of a fan base that once adored him. Stoudemire helped bring the Knicks back once and he has the opportunity to help them get the season back on track by accepting a smaller role.
It’s time for STAT to drop the ego and be the team player he claims himself to be.