The New York Knicks might not play competitive basketball for a while, but Knicks fans were treated to a little something old and (perhaps) a little something new during Tuesday’s Israeli League championship.
Maccabi Tel Aviv held off a late charge from underdog Macabi Rishon to win the title game, 86-81. Their leading scorer on the night — and Final Four MVP — was none other than former Knick Amar’e Stoudemire.
אמארה סטודמאייר מ-@MaccabitlvBC נבחר לשחקן המצטיין של פיינל פור 2020@Amareisreal is the 2020 Final Four MVP pic.twitter.com/oohNToHyWk— Winner League (@WinnerLeague) July 28, 2020
STAT dropped 18 points and grabbed 7 points for the victors. He also came through in the clutch, with two late baskets and a pair of free throws to put the game away.
Here we see Amar’e in action in the Final Four, looking like the bully-ball STAT of old.
Draftniks will recognize one of the players feeding Amar’e in the post and off the pick-and-roll in that last video as 19-year-old forward and surefire 2020 lottery pick Deni Avdija. While the kid didn’t play his best game in the final, he was named the youngest-ever Israeli League MVP during the regular season.
Deni Avdija finished out his Israeli League season today with a championship win over Rishon while capturing league MVP honors. Before today, Avdija averaged 13.2 PTS, 6.3 REBS, 2.6 AST, 1.0 BLK, 0.9 STL in 27 MIN while shooting 68% from 2, 36% from 3 in 32 Israeli League games. pic.twitter.com/lbzLrxLdWl— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) July 28, 2020
Avdija’s draft stock has been rising of late, and he might be the bet player on the board wherever the Knicks end up picking. We’ll have a Know the Prospect profile of him eventually, but until then, here’s a highlight package to whet your appetite.
Wouldn’t it be wild if Amar’e Stoudemire’s Israeli protege wound up playing in STAT’s old stomping grounds?