Report: Amar'e Stoudemire willing to come off the bench

By Royce Young | Blogger

When you're playing well, you don't want to mess with anything. Don't want to change the rotation, don't want to change the lineup, don't want to change the style.

So what do you do when one of your best players is about to return from an injury?
Amar'e Stoudemire is close to returning from a left knee injury and with Carmelo Anthony playing extremely well as the Knicks' power forward, the question is, what do you do with Stoudemire?
The consensus seems to be, bring him off the bench (if not trade him). But there's a complication with that -- you're asking Amar'e Stoudemire to come off the bench. Before that can happen, he's
Which evidently he is.

"All he cares about right now is helping the team and winning," a source told ESPN New York. "He'd be fine with coming off the bench if that's what they want."
got to be cool with it.

If Stoudemire is fine with the bench role, the Knicks second unit looks pretty strong all of a sudden. Stoudemire, J.R. Smith, Steve Novak, Iman Shumpert, Jason Kidd. Not bad.

Stoudemire is cool coming off the bench.
(Getty Images)
Plus, a bench role likely means fewer minutes for Stoudemire and with his constant health issues, that could be a good thing for him. Less wear and tear and the ability to go harder for 25-30 minutes instead of trying to pace himself for 40.Last season Stoudemire had one of his worst statistical years of his 10-year career when he averaged 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, the lowest full-season totals since his rookie year.
It's a pretty complicated situation for the Knicks. On one hand, you have an All-Star caliber power forward who's dynamic in the pick-and-roll and already played really well with Raymond Felton in the past. On the other, you've got a team cruising along and adding a banged up forward that could force you to reshuffle a bit.
And imagine if the Knicks slip when Stoudemire comes back. It's just going to bring out the hounds.
But if he's genuinely willing to accept a bench role, that speaks a lot to what his focus is. And it could really help the Knicks in the long run.