Amar’e Stoudemire retired from the NBA after signing a one-day contract with the New York Knicks Tuesday. To which most basketball fans responded: Wait, the Knicks?
Stoudemire played 14 seasons in the NBA, and while his five years with New York were fine (especially his first year, 2010-11), he is most remembered for his years running the floor with the Mike D’Antoni-led, run-and-gun Phoenix Suns. So, why not retire with Phoenix?
“The last two years, we made phone calls to Phoenix, but I wasn’t getting any positive response,” Stoudemire said Thursday, according to azcentral sports. “That would’ve been the perfect way to go out. I didn’t want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places—Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted.”
Damn. The Suns really did Stoudemire like that, huh?
“I wasn’t just going to keep knocking on someone’s door that wasn’t going to answer,” Stoudemire continued. “I love my fans in Phoenix. Most of my high times and highlights were in Phoenix. I put forth the effort to finish my career in Phoenix but it wasn’t well-received.”
He added, “I bleed purple and orange.”
Stoudemire played with the Suns from 2002-2010, pairing with Steve Nash and Shawn Marion to produce some of the most exciting basketball the NBA had seen in years. After going straight from high school to the League, he was Rookie of the Year in 2003, and he made the All-Star team six times. Knee problems hampered his career.
There is a chance for some redemption for the Suns, though: Stoudemire said he’s dreaming of being inducted into their Ring of Honor, which Steve Nash made last season.
“I’m praying for that,” he said.
Come ooooon, Phoenix. How could you ignore a dude who ranks in the top five of several of your all-time stat categories and also did this (with a front-row view for a young Steph Curry)?
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