Amar’e: It’s not you… It’s me
When dealing with ex-girlfriends, sometimes a breakup signifies the absolute end, a situation where neither you nor your ex ever wants to see each other again. But other times, there is an unexplainable connection that cannot be shaken, and people find themselves back together again, whether just as a casual encounter or something a little more serious.
This season’s NBA ex-girlfriend is Amar’e Stoudemire. Once held in high esteem like any guy (should) treat their girlfriend, Amar’e is becoming an acquaintance of the past, someone that the Knicks would gladly move on from. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with Amar’e. This is just an NBA version of the classic “it’s not you, it’s me.”
Stoudemire is the girl back home that the Knicks used to be happy with, until the Knicks went on a study abroad trip, and found out that a change of scenario really bought forth happiness and satisfaction. It really has nothing to do with a specific person. Amar’e is just sitting on the side, while the Knicks find a new and better way to play basketball—an offense that relies on ball movement and spacing, eliminating the offensive black holes that the Knicks inevitably struggled with in their Melo/Amar’e experiment. On defense, communication is a lot better, and there are no more awkward blown Amar’e coverages that Tyson had to suddenly help on.
Eventually, we reach a situation where some decisions have to be made, and not everyone will be happy with the decisions. Do the Knicks just want to permanently settle in this new place, even with Amar’e waiting back home? Does Amar’e buy a plane ticket and fly himself to this foreign country and awkwardly try and fit in like everything was the way it was originally?
Let me tell you this. The Amar’e and Knicks situation is not going to end well for Stoudemire, and it is better to figure out and acknowledge that before things get ugly.
In a weird turn of events, it turns out the heartbroken Stoudemire may not be that out of luck. Because somewhere out there, there are not one, but two people who may be open to rekindling an old, but harmonious relationship. In fact, to make things even more interesting, those two people are in a rough spot with their new ‘replacement’ for Stoudemire, and a reunion may not be a bad decision in any way.
Let’s face it. Who would not want to see the reunion of Nash, Amar’e, and D’Antoni? With not just Gasol, but the Lakers’ woes as a team, it is time for another shakeup, and there is a very logical shakeup they definitely have to consider.
Is anyone else intrigued by an Amar’e for Gasol trade? Both players are looking more and more like very expensive deadweights to their respective organizations, and a swap between the two seems to help both teams. For the Knicks, Gasol represents one of the better two-way big men in the NBA. He understands the concept of team play and ball movement very well, and would be a deciding factor in a potential playoff matchup against the Heat. Carmelo is a player worthy of LeBron’s full defensive attention, and when that happens, you leave the assignment of guarding Gasol and keeping Tyson Chandler off the offensive glass in the hands of the smaller and more diminutive Miami frontcourt of Battier, Bosh, and Haslem.
Why do this trade for the Lakers? Nash and Stoudemire pick-and-roll with D’Antoni orchestrating at the helm. Why the fuck else!? The Suns under D’Antoni were one of the most potent offensive teams in the past decade, and a move like this could reignite the Lakers season and spark off a 20-game win streak. Amar’e may have lost a step (or two, or three, or twelve) in terms of finishing at the basket, but an ‘encounter’ with your ex is bound to be more fiery and passionate than any casual ‘encounter.’
Just like any relationship, things can’t be forced (or they can, but there is this place called jail). There is a certain time and place for everything, and just because something went well the first time, doesn’t necessarily mean it will go well the second time. But then again—life, relationships, and basketball is all about taking these kinds of risks, and hoping for the chance of a great reward.
And we all know how great that reward can be.
Main Photo Credit: Bryan Horowitz, Wikipedia Commons