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Amar’e Stoudemire believes Knicks’ losing culture, not James Dolan, is what turns off free agents

Amar'e Stoudemire, Knicks, James Dolan

Former New York Knicks player Amar’e Stoudemire believes that James Dolan isn’t the one to blame for the team’s misfortunes.

Dolan has earned a reputation as an incapable, incompetent and selfish team owner. The Knickerbockers have been a bottom-of-the-barrel team for the most part of his reign, and they haven’t been able to land top-tier free agents for almost a decade now. In fact, they recently missed out on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant despite rumors that they were the frontrunners to sign the two superstars.

It didn’t help that Dolan has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, including ejecting Knicks legend Charles Oakley in 2017 as well as threatening a fan to be banned for life for expressing his opinion on him. Stopping the New York Daily News from attending a press conference recently also didn’t sit well with the league.

Despite the issues about Dolan though, Stoudemire thinks that the team owner is just a small part of the equation. For him, New York’s losing culture is the real reason why free agents are spurning them.

“I’m not sure. I mean, for me, I signed with the Knicks because of Jim Dolan, because of the way he approached the meeting, the idea that he wanted to win and do whatever it takes to make that happen,” Stoudemire said during an appearance on ESPN’s show ‘Get Up’. “That intrigued me to sign with the Knicks when I first signed with them. I think that [desire to win] is still there. But the fact that winning is not there is what [turns off] the players, and so I hope that changes soon.”

The Knicks haven’t been winning, so it might be difficult to argue with Stoudemire’s claim. However, it could be said that Dolan has a role for the team’s losing culture. After all, everyone needs to buy in to the idea and it takes years before they see real results (case in point: the Brooklyn Nets).

Stoudemire signed with the Knicks back in 2011, but he wasn’t able to lead them to a championship. He had an underwhelming three-and-half year stint with the team before he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks

Amar’e hasn’t played in the NBA since 2016, but he’s planning to return to the league next season. He’s already had private workouts with several NBA teams.