Woodson Arranged Stoudemire’s ‘Dream’
Amare Stoudemire entered the offseason wanting to work on his down-low game, and coach Mike Woodson agreed, explaining to his power forward that he wanted to use him more on the block next season.
From there, Woodson placed a phone call to one of the greatest centers in NBA history, Hakeem Olajuwon, with whom he played on the Rockets from 1988 to 1991. After discussing Stoudemire’s goal, Olajuwon, who manages a big-man offseason camp at his home in Houston, booked STAT in his training schedule, which includes only a few players each summer.
“Coach really is the one who made it happen,” said Travis King, Stoudemire’s longtime training adviser. “Mike Woodson himself said he wants the ball to go through Amare in the post more, taking advantage of Amare and Tyson (Chandler), and even Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks’ frontcourt has got to be one of the most experienced and best ones in the league. The games are decided inside most of the time. Amare has been one of the best bigs in the league for the past 10 years, really without any of the stuff that Hakeem has taught him.”