Amar'e Stoudemire made sure that he was still a member of the New York Knicks when he retired. That's why he signed a contract with the team just hours before he officially ended his career as a player in the NBA.
The legendary athlete first debuted in the league in 2002 after being drafted by the Phoenix Suns. Although this is the team where he spent the majority of his career in, he is more widely known as a player for the Knicks.
From 2010 to 2015, he played for the New York franchise before transferring to the Miami Heat last season.
But, now that he has reached the end of his career with the NBA, Stoudemire decided he wanted to still be part of the Knicks. He made this official by signing a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the team on July 26, just before he announced his retirement.
"I want to thank Mr. Dolan, Phil [Jackson] and Steve [Mills] for signing me so that I can officially retire as a New York Knick," he said in a statement according to ESPN. "I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise and we did just that."
"Carmelo [Anthony], Phil and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year's acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again," he continued. "Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained on the Big Apple. Once a Knick, always a Knick."
The Suns also released a statement congratulating Stoudemire's successful career in the NBA.
"The Phoenix Suns family congratulates Amar'e Stoudemire on a remarkable NBA career," the team said according to The Washington Post. "As the 2003 NBA rookie of the year and a five-time all-star during his time in Phoenix, Amar'e's eight seasons with out franchise provided some of the most exciting Suns basketball this city has ever seen."
It is not yet clear what Stoudemire plans to do now that he's retired from the NBA but there are rumors that he might in a different country. According to insiders, leagues in China and Israel have expressed interest in getting the 33-year-old player.
Given the fact that he's still young, there's a strong possibility that he might end up playing in a different region.