Amar’e Stoudemire will not return for second season with Israeli team


(JTA) — Amar’e Stoudemire announced that he will not be rejoining Hapoel Jerusalem to play a second season.

The 34-year-old former NBA All-Star did not indicate in his Instagram post Friday what his exact plans are for the upcoming basketball season, but he said he will become a shareholder in the Israeli team again.

“Although I would have liked to return for another season, the team, coach and I could not find a role that I felt would allow me to meaningfully contribute in the way I have always been accustomed to play,” Stoudemire wrote. “I feel it is my time now to return to the shareholder’s position and help make this team even better.”

Although he noted in his post that the team with his help won Israeli championships and reached the semifinals of the EuroCup tournament, the past season was at times tumultuous for the star forward. The Israeli media reported that he had a rocky relationship with the Hapoel Jerusalem coach and his son was barred from playing on a local team because he is not an Israeli citizen.

He also had to apologize for making a joke about what he would do if he had a gay teammate.

In June, Stoudemire said a return to the NBA for a team that needs “quality veteran leadership” was an “option” for him.

Stoudemire identifies with the Hebrew Israelites, African-Americans who believe they are connected to the biblical Israelites, and observes Jewish holidays.

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