Back in the summer of 2010, Amar’e Stoudemire was going to be part of the Team USA squad that went on to Turkey and the FIBA World Championships and won gold (qualifying the team for the 2012 Olympics).
But then he signed an uninsured $100 million deal with the Knicks — nobody would insure Stoudemire’s knees so New York took a flier on him. Not like they had a lot of choices. But to reduce the risk they asked him to pull out of his national team obligations, and he obliged.
Now that has come home to roost — Stoudemire was not among the 20 players named as finalists to be members of Team USA this summer for the London Olympics. Here were his comments, via the Bergin Record.
“It’s definitely not my choice,” Stoudemire said. “I would love to play. If USA wants me to play I’m totally down with playing. If they need me, I’m there.” In 2010, the Knicks told Stoudemire, who has had multiple knee surgeries, to withdraw from the World Championships because they couldn’t insure his contract.
Teammates Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler are on the list. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is an assistant on the team.
You can certainly make a case for Stoudemire to be included on the team, but the fact is the squad is already so stacked at forward they will be cutting very good players. Guys like Andre Iguodala and LaMarcus Aldridge may well not make the roster. In a case like that, it’s hard to argue Stoudemire demands a spot on the roster.