A former New York Knicks star will be leading the stars of Brooklyn.
It was Amar’e Stoudemire who famously proclaimed the Knicks are back after signing a five-year deal with the team worth nearly $100 million in 2010. He will now try to turn the Brooklyn Nets into a relevant franchise in their local market and beyond. Stoudemire is expected to join recently-hired head coach Steve Nash in Brooklyn an assistant, according to The Athletic.
What this means: The Brooklyn Nets are going all in on former players instead of seasoned coaches in constructing a staff that will be responsible for leading a superstar-heavy roster into the 2020-21 season. After shocking the basketball world by signing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in 2019, the two stars are hoping to finally suit up together for the first time whenever the new season arrives.
Durant has been rehabbing an Achilles tendon injury that he suffered in the 2019 NBA finals, weeks before he bolted Golden State for Brooklyn. He has not played an NBA game since.
What role will Stoudemire take? According to the Athletic, Stoudemire will be responsible for player development. He joins a staff that will include former Nets interim coach Jacque Vaughn as the lead assistant. There have been rumors that Stoudemire’s former head coach, Mike D’Antoni – who helped Stoudemire become a star playing alongside Nash in Phoenix – could also join the bench.
Why Amar’e? Stoudemire and Nash played six seasons together in Phoenix. Their 1-2 combination in the pick-and-roll became a lethal dynamic in leading the Suns’ groundbreaking 7 seconds or less offense under D’Antoni. Obviously, the two know he each other well. They are battle tested together. It makes sense for Nash to want familiar faces around him as he takes the role as head coach for the first time.
What has Stoudemire been up to? After signing a contract in 2016 to officially end his NBA career as a Knick, Stoudemire has been playing overseas, most recently, winning a championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, and claiming the Israeli League Finals MVP.