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Amar'e Stoudemire discusses why he chose to join the Miami Heat

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The former All-Star spoke to the local media on his decision to join the Heat and how he expects to be utilized.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Amar'e Stoudemire is not only excited to be the newest member of the Miami Heat but thrilled at the opportunity to be able to stay in South Florida, where he's lived for several years, and be close to his family and friends.

In a conference call to reporters Tuesday, Stoudemire outlined the many reasons why he took a discount to help strengthen Miami's depth.

"I think, for one, I believe that the team that we're establishing can be a contender in the East for sure," he said. "And plus, with me playing back in Florida, I have a lot of roots and family and friends that are in Florida so it makes it as convenient as possible for me to play there.

"There was a lot of calls. But not only with the team being there in Miami, I thought it was a great fit for my family and it's been comfortable back in my home state."

Stoudemire is also familiar with his new teammates, which only adds to his comfort level. He said he's known Chris Bosh since back in their high school days and that he played with Dwyane Wade in the 2004 Olympics when they won a bronze medal together. He also reminded reporters that he played with Goran Dragic in Phoenix, when the point guard was a rookie playing behind Steve Nash.

In his meeting with Pat Riley to discuss his potential fit with the team, Stoudemire explained he didn't necessarily have to sell the Heat's team president on what he can bring to the team.

"I didn't really say much about what I want as a basketball player as far as playing time or my position on the court," he said. "(Riley) knew exactly what I plan (to bring) to the table. The Miami Heat were the first team to visit me back in 2010 so those guys are well-equipped to understand my style of play. We did talk about the different positions as far as the 4 and 5, so I'm sure Spoelstra is going to sit down once the team is fully orchestrated and he'll figure out a way to make it all work."

Not only does he believe it will work, but he knows his versatility combined with Bosh and Hassan Whiteside playing in tandem with them will be a dangerous mix for opponents.

"It will be really good," Stoudemire said. "If I'm a reserve 4 for Chris then (I can) play alongside Whiteside as a stretch 4 as well. Or vice versa, if Chris is in there with me, I can play inside and he can play outside. There's countless amount of opportunities that we can take advantage of on the court with us.

"I'm sure coach Spoelstra has to figure out how to orchestrate this entire thing. But I think for the most part, for me, knowing that I'm a 4 and also a 5 position player and being able to utilize that advantage is great for us. So we've just got to make sure we're able to utilize every weapon that we have on this team to reach our full potential."

He was clear on what he believes he can bring to the team on and off the court.

"Obviously, I bring instant scoring which is something that I've been doing my entire career without a problem so that's going to be a given," he said. "Also, I think my leadership qualities is going to rub off also on the rest of my teammates and getting them to become better players and future leaders as well."

Both Stoudemire and Riley were on the same page with wanting to build something great immediately and being a championship contender.

"I think Riles knew how important it is to win now," he said. "I'm sure since he's dealing with veteran players, he knows the importance of winning and I think we'll be able to put together a nice team that's going to allow us to compete. So that's all that matters right now, to put us in a position to compete and let the best team win."

He understands he will likely be used as a reserve but is open to doing whatever is needed to help the team succeed.

"It's whatever the coaching staff (wants)," he said. "I can play however much, however long I need to. Whatever it takes to win. So if that means playing more minutes at the 4 or the 5, then my body is strong enough and willing to do that."

Part of that is staying healthy after multiple injuries greatly limited his athleticism during his time with the New York Knicks. Stoudemire insists he feels healthy and ready to contribute in whatever capacity Erik Spoelstra sees fit.

"I feel great," he said. "We still have another three, four months to go before the season starts but so far, I'm building off a strong season last year and now it's two straight years of feeling strong. I think that's a positive thing for me."