I would say it’s a bad sign when one of your star players is saying that he doesn’t think his knees can make it through the season before the season even starts.
The New York Daily news is reporting that Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire thinks the shortened, 66-game schedule, may be too much for his body to handle.
“You never know depending on how these games go,” Stoudemire said. “It may be smart to take a recovery day depending on who we’re playing. But we have to wait and see.”
It sucks for Stoudemire that his knee problems are so bad, he’s already considering the veteran Shaq treatment at age 29. This is something we do occasionally see from players who are playing well into their 30’s, but not someone Stoudemire’s age. During his last couple years on the Knicks, Stoudemire has been able to avoid the big injuries that plagued his career on the Phoenix Suns, but he really is worried that this new schedule could be really harmful to his ailing knees.
“That’s never a good thing as far as the players because we’ll be playing three games back-to-back, which is something I’ve never done before,” Stoudemire said. “And six, seven games in eight nights. It’s definitely hard on the body. You have to be smart about playing time and recovering from those games.”
Although we may criticize Stoudemire for being so cautious before the season even starts, you have to wonder if this lockout-shortened season is going to do more harm for players’ careers than good. Even though they are playing 16 fewer games, it’s a lot of games in such a short period of time and then you still tack on potentially two months of playoffs afterward. The players also have to deal with a shorter preseason to get back in shape. I think Amar’e won’t be the only one taking days off, even the younger players may have to take some time to rest.
I really hope we don’t look back on this season in 10 years and think, “Remember the lockout season when ‘so-and-so’ won the championship only because they were the one team that stayed healthy?” That could be a possibility though, and this lockout will continue to be one of the worst things that’s ever happened to the NBA.