Of course as soon as I write that Amar’e Stoudemire’s going to try out for the U.S. Worlds Team, the opportunity vanishes. The Knicks have been unable to find an insurance company that would cover Amar’e’s contract if he goes to play at Worlds this summer. Thus, they’ve denied permission for him to join the team. It’s understandable: that’s a lot of dough to put on the line. In the past, owners of many other teams have voiced concerns about their guys possibly getting hurt by playing for their national teams during the summer. However, at least in those situations if the player got injured, the team wouldn’t be stuck footing the bill. Should an uninsured Amar’e go down, not only would we lose our franchise player, we’d still have to pay him from the money out of our (read: Dolan’s) wallet.
That said, the Knicks are still searching for a company to cover the contract. So while it’s highly unlikely he’ll get to play this summer, it seems like there’s a decent chance for him to try for the team in future summers. It’s a bummer for him, because with none of the players from the Olympic team returning this summer, Amar’e had a shot at being a focal point at Worlds. However, for us Knick fans, it’s probably better that he’s out. While it’s unlikely he would’ve hurt himself, this saves wear and tear on his surgically repaired knee. When this deal was done, many people incorrectly stated that Amar’e was injury prone. The real issue is that with him having gone through surgery, the fear is that it could eventually catch up to him and thereby shorten his career.