This season’s MVP race is more up for grabs than it has been in the past three seasons. Kobe Bryant is getting older, LeBron James hurt his chances by joining up with two other All-Stars and Kevin Durant, the presumed favorite, is just 22 years old. Anybody could take home this year’s Podoloff Trophy. Well, not anybody, but there will be a bunch of candidates.
Including, according to his coach Mike D’Antoni, Amar’e Stoudemire. From the New York Daily News:
Mike D’Antoni believes that a rejuvenated Amar’e Stoudemire is poised to have an MVP-caliber season for the Knicks.
“I’m hoping he’s the MVP this year,” D’Antoni said. “That’s kind of what he should shoot for and I’m sure what he’s trying to be.”
Sure, why not? If Derrick Rose is willing to throw his own name in to the Goblet of Fire, we might as well include Amar’e Stoudemire. After all, he’s playing in a system he knows, one that will showcase his skills and he’s in the best media market in the NBA. Plus, he was one of the best players in the league down the stretch last year All signs point to him being in the running for this season’s MVP.
That being said, no one knows for sure how everything is going to work out in New York. Yeah, Amar’e's going to be great and he’ll know what he’s doing, but going from Steve Nash to Ray Felton is a pretty significant downgrade. Not to mention, there are so many new players on the Knicks that it’ll probably take some time for the team to get used to playing together. Compared to Durant hooping with the same team he did last year, and Amar’e's going to be at a bit of a disadvantage.
But hey, preseason is a time for optimism. So yeah, Amar’e Stoudemire as MVP could make some sense, at least until the season starts. Then, when the Knicks are hovering around .500, maybe we can talk about how unlikely this really is.