The beleaguered New York Knicks were given a big boost from an unlikely source recently, when they enlisted Fat Joe to help recruit NBA star Amare Stoudemire.

"I'm a New York Knick fan, die-hard!" Joe, a Bronx native, told MTV. "And we been losing for a long time -- like, eight years or something." According to Joe, the Knicks organization called the rapper up to help with persuading Amare, who also happened to be Joe's favorite player and long-time pal. "It's been a long time since New York had a guy to dunk on people, pound his chest, go crazy," Joe says of what Stoudemire would bring to the team. "That's my type of player. Hard body. So they was like, 'Joe, we want you to call him up, start talking to him. Tell him to come to the city, tell him how beautiful the city is.' 'Mare, I've known him for years -- since he came in the league as rookie."

Joe, who has also known Knicks owner James Dolan for years, took it upon himself to call the former Phoenix Sun and make his pitch for the home team. "When I called [Amare] ... I was like, 'We need you, we need you!" Joe said. "I did my greatest Khaled rendition ever created. 'I gotta have you. You're killing me, I'm gonna die. I need oxygen!' He was like, 'Joe calm down. It might happen. Calm down.' It was a great experience."

On Monday, Stoudemire and the Knicks celebrated the power forward's signing to a five-year, almost $100 million contract (we're sure the $$$ helped, too, Joe), but Joe's work is far from over.

"I can't sleep," Joe said of his continued work to recruit stars for the Knicks. "I been talking to Carmelo [Anthony] since the Puerto Rican Day parade. I been hammering on his head like, 'We need you.' He loves the city. I was in France talking to Chris Paul and Tony Parker, like, 'Yo, we need y'all to come.' I'm going in."

Fat Joe's highly-anticipated new album, 'The Darkside Vol. 1' is scheduled for a July 27 release.