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Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire announces retirement after championship in Israel

Amar'e Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire has announced his retirement from basketball, a month after his Hapoel Jerusalem club captured the Israeli Basketball Premier League championship.

The former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks forward officially retired from the NBA last year, but he did not stop from playing professionally, opting to sign with the Israeli club which he co-owns.

However, after helping the then fourth-seeded Hapoel Jerusalem win the 2016-17 Israeli title, Stoudemire chose not to return for a second season and to end his career as a champion.

Stoudemire posted his farewell note on Instagram:

Thank you @_winner_league @thejerusalem_post @sport_5 @jerusalembasket "When I decided last summer to retire from the NBA and join Hapoel Jerusalem, my intentions were to help this team, from this holy city win my first championship with the team and the second championship in franchise history. I am extremely proud that not only did we meet that goal, but that this achievement, capped arguably the best season this team has ever had. Reaching all three local finals, of which we won two, along with a eurocup semifinals appearance, personally winning the All Star Game MVP Award 🏆 and coming to within one game of the finals, made it a truly remarkable season. I am extremely proud that not only did we meet that goal, but that this achievement, capped arguably the best season this team has ever had. It has been a great ride for myself and my family. We enjoyed the city, it's people, the holy places 🕎 and of course Hapoel fans🗣. Although I would have liked to return for another season, the team, coach and I could not find a role that I felt would allow me to meaningfully contribute in the way I have always been accustomed to play I feel it is my time now, to return to the shareholder's position and help make this team even better. I would like to thank Hapoel Jerusalem president. Ori Allon, and the entire Hapoel Jerusalem organization for giving me the opportunity to retire as a champion 🏆and doing it in the holiest of cities made even more special. I wish my teammates, friends and fans another great season. Yalla Hapoel!!" #kingdombusiness #shabbtshalom

A post shared by (əˈ•mär•ray) Amar'e Stoudemire (@amareisreal) on

The 34-year-old added on the post that he would stay as a shareholder of the club and “help make this team even better.” He also thanked the organization for giving him “the opportunity to retire as a champion.”

Amar’e Stoudemire put up a decent stat line of 9.9 points and 5.9 rebounds as a sixth man in his lone year at Jerusalem. However, he averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 846 NBA games over 14 seasons with Phoenix, New York, Dallas, and Miami.

He was marred with injury in the latter stage of his career; nonetheless, he was a devastating presence on the court before that, particularly on the pick and roll when he teamed up with Steve Nash.

The Florida native rose to prominence after winning the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003. He was named All-Star six times, in 2005 and from 2007-2011.