Weight: 250 lbs
Career Stats (per game): 21.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks
Talk about a busy year: In July, Amar’e Stoudemire—a powerful five-time NBA All-Star with the Phoenix Suns—signed a $100 million free agent deal with the New York Knicks. He then spent a few weeks in Israel, absorbing his newly discovered heritage (Stoudemire recently learned that his mother has Jewish roots). Since the trip, he’s been working at staying officially kosher. “I’ve had no shellfish and no pork for quite some time,” he says.
In the gym, Stoudemire hasn’t changed a thing from the regimen that allowed him to thrive in the Arizona desert. He works out four hours a day, combining weight training, prehab exercises, and skill training. Typically, he does eight exercises, with three sets of 12 reps. Even during the season, he lifts four to five days a week (though cutting back significantly on the reps), mixing corrective exercises, like the rotational lunge, with heavier movements, like squats, deadlifts, and stepups.
“I want to reach my full potential,” he told us. Long-suffering Knicks fans hope Stoudemire can do that and finally return the team to respectability. “It’s a dream to play at Madison Square Garden,” he says. “I love being part of this city.”
The Knicks are one of the first pro teams to incorporate a new technology called The Catapult System into their practices. Players wear a chip on their backs, between their shoulder blades. The chips are accompanied by basic Polar heart rate monitors near the bottom of their chests. The system monitors the players’ fitness and performance levels. “At the end of practice, we can download the data, study everything, and look for ways to improve,” says Knicks head athletic trainer Roger Hinds.