NEW YORK -- Amar'e Stoudemire had mixed emotions upon returning to Madison Square Garden for the first time since he left the New York Knicks last season.
But the former Knick had plenty of interesting things to say about Carmelo Anthony, Jeremy Lin and how some Knicks didn't buy into the triangle last season.
Asked if he feels for his former teammate Anthony for going through another tough season with the Knicks, Stoudemire hinted that Anthony needs to be better to pull the Knicks out of their mess. The Knicks (25-36) have lost 14 of their past 17 games.
"It's tough," Stoudemire said before the Heat beat the Knicks 98-81 on Sunday. "When you get involved in this situation, you have to take ownership of it. You have to make sure you made the right decisions for your team and teammates.
"You have to become a complete player in order to bring your team out of a rut. Everyone can't do it. It's not always easy."
When asked if he has any advice for Anthony moving forward, Stoudemire mentioned how he knew at this stage of his career that he needed to surround himself with "other class A players" to chase a title.
"It's a situation where you have options," Stoudemire said. "If you want to win, that's the main priority. And if physically you can't do it as a player and make your teammates better and get them to the point they can win, then you surround yourself with a team that's built to win.
"And for me, I knew Father Time was ticking on my clock, so I wanted to put myself in a position around other class A players, put myself in a position to at least compete for a championship."
Stoudemire played four and a half seasons with the Knicks, and his time overlapped with former fan favorite Lin. Although he did not mention any names, Stoudemire said not every Knick was thrilled with Lin's exploding popularity back then.
"If he stayed, it would've been cool," Stoudemire said of Lin, who played one season in New York from 2011-12. "But everyone wasn't a fan of him being the new star, so he didn't stay long. But Jeremy was a great, great guy. Great teammate. He worked hard. He put the work in, and we're proud of him to have his moment.
"I truly bought into it. I thought it was great. Maybe three-fourths of the team thought it was great. But if you don't have a full team that buys into a system, it's never going to pan out."Amar'e Stoudemire on Knicks' triangle offense
"A lot of times, you gotta enjoy someone's success," he continued. "And that wasn't the case for us during that stretch. ... You got to enjoy that. You got to let that player enjoy himself and cherish those moments. He was becoming a star, and I don't think everybody was pleased with that."
Anthony said Sunday night he did not think Stoudemire was talking about him when it came to being less than receptive to Lin's brief success in New York.
"Still?" Anthony asked when told that Lin came up when reporters talked to Stoudemire. "That was [four] years ago? I don't know. I don't have no comment about that. If [Lin] was becoming a star, we should embrace that. I don't know. We didn't embrace it? Was that the word?"
"S---, if that was the case then I'd be upset right now with KP [rookie fan favorite Kristaps Porzingis], if he's talking about me. I doubt if [Stoudemire is] talking about me. I doubt that. I highly doubt that."
Anthony did tweet a series of motivational thoughts on Monday afternoon, though it's unclear what prompted the tweets:
February 29, 2016
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Stoudemire said he thought Derek Fisher was "doing well" as a first-time coach last season, but not all the Knicks bought into the triangle. Fisher was fired earlier in February.
"I truly bought into it," said Stoudemire, who had eight points and seven rebounds Sunday. "I thought it was great. Maybe three-fourths of the team thought it was great. But if you don't have a full team that buys into a system, it's never going to pan out."
"The triangle offense is based upon ball movement and ball penetration," Stoudemire said. "There's a lot of intelligence that's involved in the triangle offense that you have to conquer and understand. But if you don't have a full team that buys into it, it's not going to work."
When told of Stoudemire's triangle comments, Anthony asked, "Was I [part of] the quarter?"
"To be honest, I don't even know ... what happened last year was a blur to me, bro," Anthony said when told Stoudemire didn't mention his name. "As far as buying into last year, buying into what? I don't have any recollection about last year."
Stoudemire, who had to deal with several injuries during his Knicks tenure, received mixed reception from New York fans.
"It's been a lot," Stoudemire said of what he thinks of all the Knicks' changes in the past few seasons. "It's been a lot going on, and it hasn't really been great over the years.
"It's hard for me to watch from the outside looking in because I was so involved with creating a positive atmosphere around the Knicks. Now it's gone the opposite way. Hopefully, things can pan out well in the near future."