The starting center for the Western Conference All-Stars feels he’s under-appreciated in the NBA.
It’s not that Amare Stoudemire feels his current skills are under-appreciated, he doesn’t even feel that people lack respect for what he’s accomplished since 2005. He isn’t even frustrated because of current trade rumors, or the lack of a contract extension.
No, Stoudemire, the Phoenix Suns leading scorer and rebounder, is upset that he isn’t recognized as the first player to come out of high school and become an NBA star in his rookie year.
“Garnett was OK,” said Stoudemire, who has built upon his fine start by averaging 21.0 points and 8.9 rebounds for his career and making five All-Star Games. “Kobe was OK. McGrady was OK. But I was able to win Rookie of the Year. I was the first to ever do it [straight from high school]. Then LeBron gets it the year after. I think when LeBron came after me, he had so much hype that [people] tend to forget the fact that I was the first.”
I will say this, Tomasson probably baited Stoudemire with a leading question about the situation. No matter what you think about Amare, it’s hard to believe he just randomly volunteered the information. The problem is, regardless of the questions asked, he didn’t have to provide an answer. Especially an answer that comes off as bitter.
Imagine, if you will, an actor, let’s say Alec Baldwin. Imagine that Baldwin randomly said to Entertainment Weekly that he feels undervalued because his work on the soap opera The Doctors isn’t recognized anymore because Brad Pitt is viewed as the best actor to get his start in soaps. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense (mostly because it’s a crazy analogy involving soap operas on a sports website).
Why complain about the past when you’re having success in the present? Why look at the past when you still have the skills to be remembered for greater accomplishments in the future?
When you read that quote, your mind can’t help but conjure up images of Al Bundy talking about his four touchdowns in a high school football game.
It sounds like a one-time athlete reminiscing about the “glory days”, not someone in his prime.
As the Suns battle for a playoff spot and look to the future, Stoudemire is stuck thinking about the success of the past.
LeBron would happily give Amare back his spot atop the “high schooler turned rookie of year” list in exchange for an NBA title. LeBron is worried about making history, not reminiscing about it.
That’s the exact reason why the Suns can’t afford to offer Amare a max contract. It’s why they can’t build around him. He isn’t at the caliber of LeBron or Kobe. He doesn’t even seem overly concerned about catching up to them, just that his rookie season is remember with higher regard.
If Stoudemire doesn’t want to be overlooked, he should worry about how his career ends, not how it began. If he doesn’t, all he may be remembered as is one of the long list of high schoolers who not to live up to their potential.
Stoudemire Believes He’s Overlooked in NBA History [FanHouse]