Having taken on the challenge of restoring the Knicks to prominence and respectability two years ago, Amar'e Stoudemire is too smart and seasoned not to know that patience wears thin. The team he rejoined Tuesday night, on the first day of a new year, is not the ramshackle operation that had been criss-crossing the intersection of irrelevance and ineptitude for a decade. This Knicks team played most of the first two months of the season without him like a team that has a chance to seriously contend for a championship.
Now comes Stoudemire with a new challenge, even more daunting than the one he embraced two years ago. Here comes Stoudemire trying to fit back in, trying to find his niche on a team that decidedly belongs to someone else.