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Amar'e Stoudemire retired a Knick

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

This is nice. A little unexpected, but very nice.

Even as a Knicks fan, I don't really think of Amar'e as a Knick. He played all his best years in Phoenix, and was only intermittently productive after his first season in New York. That said, Amar'e was one of the first people in a long, long time to choose to make a significant commitment to the Knicks when he signed in 2010, and in doing so commenced what feels like a separate (and ongoing?) chapter of basketball in the city. Though things fizzled, Amar'e's first couple months as the star of a very deep pre-Melo team were a sublime mini-era of New York basketball, and some shining examples of D'Antoniball. Stoudemire meant a lot to New York in intention if not in practice, and I'll always relish those stretches of vintage performance, plus everything he did prior.

And I guess from Stoudemire's perspective, the Knicks were the franchise willing -- however foolishly -- to invest in his future when he was 28 and on shaky knees. I can see why he'd consider this player-franchise bond particularly special, even if it does not include his peak.

Whatever the case, I'm glad the Knicks worked with Amar'e to make his retirement as sweet as possible. As we bid farewell, let's watch him work: