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Eric Freeman

Video: Amar'e Stoudemire dunks on LeBron James

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

If you can, think back to a simpler time in the NBA, when the best teams only had two superstars and about one-third of the league thought they had a chance to become instant contenders overnight. It was only six months ago, shockingly, just before the free-agency period of 2010, in which seemingly every star in the NBA would change teams like some kind of real-life fantasy draft.

It turned out that only three true stars changed teams: LeBron James(notes), Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes). The first two have been tremendous pickups, playing to their established talent levels and, in Stoudemire's case, even exceeding them.

Tuesday night, they met in Miami, and while the Heat defeated the Knicks, 106-98, Amar'e came away with the most memorable moment of the game: a thunderous slam on LeBron available in video form above.

Again, the Knicks lost this game -- their second defeat at the hands of the Heat in two weeks -- but plays like this one are helping them prove that they're for real. They're not going to contend for a championship this season and might not even get out of the first round of the playoffs. Still, even when they lose to superior competition, they announce their presence with authority. Like one of their most famous fans once said, 80 percent of success is showing up. That's not a bad start for a team that was in shambles for the past few years.

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