Amar’e Stoudemire was drafted by the Suns with the ninth pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He then went on to spend eight years with Phoenix, and even though he struggled through a series of knee injuries during his time with the team, he enjoyed some of the most successful seasons of his career with the Suns. He was voted NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003, made NBA All-Star teams in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, and was named to the All-NBA First Team in 2007. So while he went on to play for the Knicks (2010-2015), Mavericks (2015), and Heat (2015-2016) during the second half of his career, it always seemed like he would return to Phoenix one day to retire for good.
That didn’t turn out to be the case. On Tuesday afternoon, Stoudemire announced he was signing a one-day contract with the Knicks and retiring in New York. He explained himself in a lengthy statement released by the Knicks:
It’s not a huge surprise to see Stoudemire call it quits in the Big Apple. He spent five years of his life there and embraced the city when he signed with the Knicks in July 2010. But there are plenty of Suns fans who are disappointed about his decision to go back to NYC as opposed to returning to Phoenix. Here's how some of them reacted to the news:
Other NBA fans were confused, too:
But for the record, the Suns don't seem too broken up about Stoudemire choosing the Knicks over them. They posted these tweets after he announced his retirement:
Stoudemire retires with career averages of 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.