Free Agent Amar'e Stoudemire Is the Latest Scapegoat in Phoenix
Phoenix fans are good at pointing fingers after disappointing postseasons.
This year, in the midst of a free agency bonanza, the fingers seem to be pointing at Amar'e Stoudemire. Some fans are even welcoming his departure, hoping to get someone who is more reliable.
As torn as I am about the whole season, and the way it ended, I can't abandon Amar'e because of his last series. He, after all, is not the only one to blame. The entire team lost that series, not just Stoudemire. Not only is he not the only one to blame, he's arguably the biggest reason we ended the regular season as strongly as we did.
Steve Nash, on the other hand, is hardly receiving criticism from Suns' fans about his defense, his deference to Stoudemire in the last game (how many times did you yell at the television when he passed it into the post for a turnover, missed basket, or violation?), his comments that fired up Ron Artest (who was the biggest difference in the Game Six, series-ending loss), or his inability to use his best asset: his shooting.
Listen, there's no doubt that Steve Nash is talented. There's no doubt he has heart and he's great at what he does, but it's about time that Steve Nash feels some accountability for his team. It is his team, after all, because fans aren't split 50-50 about his return. Because he was the league's Most Valuable Player twice. Twice!
It's his team and our postseason disappointments must be shouldered by him just as much as any other player on the roster.
What can Steve do for you?
First, I think it's pivotal that he comes out strongly in support of Amar'e and the entire roster. He should be going to those guys' houses, taking them out to dinner, and convincing them that the team needs to stay intact.
Second, he can tell his teammates that he will absolutely focus on defense and will become more of a scorer when needed. Maybe Goran Dragic can teach him a little something about seizing momentum in big games?
Third, how about he makes the ultimate sacrifice for his team and its fans by renegotiating his contract so that Phoenix has more space to sign stoppers and boarders. I know that's a long shot, but isn't he known for his charitable work? Give back, Steve, give back by taking a pay-cut. Maybe the whole team will follow suit, all call their agents, and all reduce their salaries to find some more pieces for a team they already believe is great.
Fourth, Steve, shoot the ball. Shoot the ball. I would argue that you're one of the best shooters in NBA%29#50-40-90_Seasons" target="_blank">league history . When our offense is stagnant, you've got to be the one to bring it back. I understand that you're a pass-first point guard and that's done you very well but, historically, your assist numbers do not even remotely compare to your shooting percentages.
Jack that ball up, Steve. This is your team and we'll be looking to you to take us over the hump, get over the hurdle, slay the dragons, exorcise the demons, sling the monkey, and bring us a title. I'll never question your age (again) but time goes one way, brother.
Whether Amar'e stays or goes, don't blame him for this season's disappointing end.
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