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Amar’e Stoudemire’s future with Knicks reportedly depends on Jim Dolan

The news that Amar’e Stoudemire already is talking about his time with the New York Knicks in the past tense certainly doesn’t bode well for his future with the team. But reports indicate that whether or not Stoudemire sticks with the Knicks will depend entirely on the whims of team owner James Dolan.

Happy Walters, Stoudemire’s agent, says that while his client remains “loyal” to the Knicks at this time, if Dolan feels it’s best to cut ties, apparently so will the veteran center.

In a text message to the New York Post, Walters wrote: “We are not in any real discussions yet. Amar’e is loyal to the Knicks. If that changes, then he wouldn’t do anything unless Jim is cool with it.’’

Earlier reports suggest that Stoudemire and the Knicks may come to a mutual agreement to end their relationship and that the 32-year-old, who has suffered an inordinate amount of injuries during his five years with the team, reportedly will consider accepting a buyout over the upcoming All-Star Break. This would allow Stoudemire to pursue a deal with a contender and let the Knicks off the hook for his enormous contract.

Stoudemire said after Tuesday’s practice that he isn’t leaning one way or the other.

“I’m not focused on that right now. We’ll see when that time comes,” he said, via the New York Post. “Right now my loyalty is with New York and that’s what it’s going to be. Eventually we’ll get to the conversation, trying to iron things out. But we’re not there yet.’’

Despite his insistence that he hasn’t made an ultimate determination concerning his future, some of the things he said Tuesday indicate that at least mentally he has come to grips that his Knicks career may go out with a whimper.

“I gave it all, man — my heart, my body and my soul,’’ he said. “I truly gave it all. I’m still giving, still dedicated to the game of basketball, still dedicated to New York State and the Knicks.’’

Sources of the Post have indicated Dolan won’t stand in the way should Stoudemire decide to cut ties with the team, but with one hitch: Instead of accepting the prorated portion of his $23 million contract, the Knicks would ask that he give back $1.9 million to the team to effectuate the buyout.

Ultimately, all signs point to Dolan making the final call, and the owner hasn’t demonstrated he is capable of making the best of decisions from time to time. Just ask the fans who have launched a website imploring him to sell the team.

(photo credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)