By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Amare Stoudemire has announced his retirement from the NBA as a member of the New York Knicks, but his basketball career might to be far from over!
Where will the American center go next? According to the Israeli website Walla, Stoudemire is packing bags for Jerusalem, where he is expected to sign a professional contract with Hapoel! If such a deal is finalized we are talking about one massive… atom transfer “bomb” thrown on the plains of European basketball.
The choice of Hapoel Jerusalem, which competes both in the Israeli Winner league and Eurocup, is not coincidental at all and perhaps more obvious than what you might think. Why?
Well, because Stoudemire is actually quite engaged in the club already. Τhe 33-year old big guy belongs to the management group headed by Ori Allon, current president of the club, that bought Hapoel in 2013. Today, he still holds a small percentage of the team’s ownership.
Allon is determined to make all the necessary modifications in the planned budget for the upcoming season in order to persuade Stoudemire to wear the jersey of Hapoel. Apart from the prestige, the glamour and the fame this kind of move may bring to the Israeli team, there’s actually a seriously substantial goal at stake.
With the six-times NBA All Star on board, Hapoel – which has already completed some quite notable signings and has hired experienced coach Simone Pianigiani – can elevate its status as one of the biggest favorites to win the 2017 Eurocup. Such a success will grant them a ticket for the 2017/2018 Euroleague season a prize worth more than the trophy itself.
But the next season’s outcome seems a bit irrelevant right now. The thing that matters is that what we might have in front of us, is perhaps the most impressive transfer for this summer in Europe.