The Miami Heat return the same core of a year ago, but their reserves have been upgraded, starting with six-time NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire, who signed with the team for the veteran's minimum last week.
"I believe the team we're establishing can be a contender in the East, for sure." Stoudemire said in a teleconference with the Heat media.
As for his health and his much discussed knee issues, he's feeling strong despite logging 65 games and 59 games, respectively, in 2014 and 2015.
"I feel great," Stoudemire said. "Two straight years of feeling strong and that's a positive thing for me."
The offensively-minded 14-year veteran says he and several Heat stars go back a while, saying he "has known Chris [Bosh] and Dwyane [Wade] for a long time. Dwyane and I played for the Olympics in 2004. I played with Goran Dragic when I was a rookie in Phoenix."
Stoudemire has career averages of 19.8 points and 8.1 rebounds on 54-percent shooting from the field.
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