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LOS ANGELES -- On the day the NFL and its players got back to business, one of the biggest names in the NBA says he, too, is ready to get back to work. To hear New York Knicks All-Star Amare Stoudemire tell it, though, you may see him next play on foreign soil.
Speaking at his rented home on Monday afternoon in Hollywood Hills, where he joined designer Rachel Roy in unveiling their women's clothing line to members of the fashion media, Stoudemire said he's seen a flood of international caller IDs come his way.
"All the clubs have called the office inquiring about me," Stoudemire said. "Teams from Israel, China, Turkey, Spain. A lot of countries have been calling."
Initially, Stoudemire didn't seem interested in fielding offers from foreign teams. On July 9 he tweeted, "Europe teams are calling, I think I'm going 2 stay here in the states. My loyalty is with the State of New York an the NYK's. Who's with me?" But on Monday, he stated otherwise.
"The chances would be high" of playing elsewhere in a lockout, Stoudemire said. "They'd definitely be high. I just want to make sure I'm healthy and totally 100 percent before I make that type of commitment. As of right now, we're not entertaining offers. I'm still trying to get (my back) right."Players are currently locked out after the two sides failed to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. Monday was the 25th day of the lockout.
Stoudemire said that while he can move and bend over fine, his back is still sore and it's slowly healing. In fact, the court is the last place you'll find him. Try the couch.
"Right now, all I can do is rest," Stoudemire said. "There's no rehab right now -- no cardio, no weightlifting, nothing. They say the best thing for me right now is another three weeks of rest, nothing else."
Once Stoudemire is cleared to play, his first move won't be booking a one-way international flight. He'll be organizing a "training camp" with many of his Knicks teammates. The likely site is a major college campus in Southern California.
"There are a few other facilities in other parts of the country that we may look at," Stoudemire said, "but we definitely want to get in shape and be ready in time for the season. I have another three weeks until I do another assessment on my back, and then we go from there. I'm doing research on (basketball facilities in L.A.) now. I know UCLA is revamping its facilities. USC may be a good spot."
As for teammates he's enlisted?
"We should have at least a majority (of Knicks players) here for that. Ideally, at least seven to 10 guys will join. We have a few players out here already. Landry Fields and Carmelo (Anthony) are out here. I talked to Carmelo last month. He was getting himself ready; I don't think he's cleared yet, either. Once we're all ready to go, we'll ramp it up. When I'm cleared, I'll call all the guys again and orchestrate it. All the guys are ready for it."Sam Alipour is a contributing writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. Jared Zwerling is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.