Aside from winning ballgames, the New York City market demands more from its athletes.
In fact, the athletes have a tendency to become more like celebrities, and how well they are perceived by the media is entirely up to them.
The above notion, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why Amare Stoudemire is a great fit for the Knicks.
By recruiting the league’s top free agents, the Knicks are obviously trying to improve their team. There is absolutely no denying that Stoudemire is a strong player who could improve the Knicks. All parties involved understand that.
What Stoudemire is proving during this free agent period, however, is that he is precisely the type of persona that simply belongs in New York City.
Stoudemire, someone who never shies away from the media, has made sure his tour of New York is being well-documented, starting from the very second his plane touched the city’s ground.
Through his Twitter account (you can follow him @amareisreal ), Stoudemire has kept all whom are interested informed of his arrival and first day in town, going as far as noting what food he’s enjoying at which restaurants, and the fact that he went to see Broadway’s Rock of Ages.
Jim Baumbach, a reporter for Newsday, further noted that Stoudemire would be spending his Fourth of July watching the game at Yankee Stadium.
After Stoudemire is done enjoying himself, it will be back to business on Monday as he hears the Knicks’ official recruiting pitch. Rest assured that he will be continuing his tweets from there as well, as he was vocal about attending a meeting with his former team, the Phoenix Suns, last week.
In the meantime, he has already been optimistically recruiting players for the Knicks on his own. Of course, the arrival of these players is contingent on whether or not he chooses to ultimately sign with the Knicks.
Stoudemire told The New York Post, “I’ve talked to Carmelo Anthony to come out here, I’ve talked to Tony Parker. Both those guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here, so I’m going to see if we can work it out.”
Of course, while Stoudemire is a free agent, Anthony and Parker are both still under contract with their current respective teams. The idea of Anthony donning orange and blue may have to wait until next season, should he opt not to sign an extension with the Nuggets.
Parker, on the other hand, could come to the Knicks sooner than that. There have been recent rumblings about the possibility of Parker joining the Knicks in exchange for David Lee via sing & trade.
The Knicks would be enticed to make the Parker deal happen quicker, in the event that Stoudemire signs, as he has played with a point guard of Steve Nash’s caliber his entire career.
It is unknown, however, if Lee would be open to signing with San Antonio, and the Knicks likely do not have other assets necessary to complete such a deal.
While fans await Stoudemire’s decision, they can stay posted regarding how much fun he has at today’s Yankee game. Hopefully watching a team with such a successful history and winning culture gives him an idea of how rewarding becoming a star in New York City can really be.