For the majority of 14 seasons in the NBA, Amar'e Stoudemire stood tall and was among the most talented players in the league. But due to continued knee problems and other various injuries, Stoudemire announced his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday.

Drafted straight out of high school in 2002, Stoudemire spent the bulk of his career with the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks before brief stints with the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. The peak of his career was when he played for the Suns yet his time with the Knicks was apparently quite special for Stoudemire; he signed a one-day contract with the team so he can retire as a Knick.

From the Knicks:

NBA great Amar'e Stoudemire announced his retirement as a player in the National Basketball Association today, after signing with the New York Knickerbockers for his final contract in the league.

"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," Stoudemire said. "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. Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained in the Big Apple. Once a Knick, Always a Knick."


"For parts of six years, Amar'e Stoudemire was the face of the New York Knicks franchise because of his excellence on the court and his dedication to our community and our fans across the world," Mills said. "When Amar'e asked us to retire as a Knick, we were honored to oblige."

Although he is retiring from the NBA, there is a small chance, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, that Stoudemire will play professional basketball overseas in either China or Israel. But Stein also reports that Stoudemire will take a considerable amount of time before deciding to continue his playing career. It likely will all depend on Stoudemire's health; his career has been on a steep decline due to his athleticism fading because of repeated injury issues.

Despite Stoudemire not going out on top, in his prime, he was an absolute beast. Stoudemire's athleticism was off the charts and his All-Star-level play was instrumental in the Suns experiencing so much success in the mid-2000s. The pairing of Steve Nash and Stoudemire in Phoenix led to one of the more entertaining and successful teams in the history of the league. Stoudemire was also a regular highlight machine in those days, routinely posterizing opponents like Anthony Tolliver:

Stoudemire was more than merely a dunker. He excelled in Phoenix and made the All-Star Game five times as a member of the Suns. Stoudemire also had one of the more virtuoso performances of all-time in the 2005 Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs, where he averaged 37.0 points (55 percent shooting) and 9.8 boards. Mind you, this was against Tim Duncan, who was also at the top of his game and was one of the best defenders in the history of the league. Stoudemire gave Duncan all he could handle in that series yet the Spurs still came out on top, which frequently happened in those heated playoff mid-2000s contests between San Antonio and Phoenix.

Despite playing for the Suns for eight seasons and having success in Phoenix, Stoudemire signed with the Knicks in 2010, when the team was flush with cap space and hoped to lure LeBron James to New York. James of course joined the Heat, but the Knicks continued to believe in Stoudemire -- one reason he might have wanted to retire as a Knick since the franchise showed faith in him after numerous injuries in Phoenix.

Stoudemire made the All-Star team in his first season in New York but then injuries caught up to him once again and his game began to decline. He spent 4 1/2 seasons with the Knicks before joining the Mavs for a half-season in 2015 and then played (and started 36 games) for the Heat last season.

A six-time All-Star and a member of five All-NBA teams (two first teams, three second teams), Stoudemire will retire with averages of 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in his 14-year career.

The injuries might have robbed Stoudemire from truly realizing his potential, but when he was at his peak, there were few big men who could rival him. His impact on the league isn't anywhere near Duncan or other superstar big men, but Stoudemire dominated for a period.

Amar'e Stoudemire was one of the greats and his greatness should not be overlooked.

Amar'e Stoudemire has retired from the NBA. USATSI