Amar’e Stoudemire has always wanted to be the center of attention, even if he didn’t always want to be a center. He’s always wanted to get paid. He’s wanted to be viewed at the same level as LeBron and D-Wade.
Well, yesterday his wishes were granted when he agreed in principle to a 5-year deal worth almost $100 million with the New York Knicks. Now that he has what he’s always coveted, he’s really about to "get it."
Stoudemire is about to understand the tough lesson that other former Suns have learned. Leaving Phoenix doesn’t always mean prosperity on the court elsewhere.
Amar’e’s decision to head to the vast wasteland that is the New York Knicks’ roster and leaving Steve Nash is like a flat chested girl leaving her push up bra in favor of something less supportive. Nash makes Amar’e better and without him, STAT will just look flat.
His statistics have been on the decline per 36 minutes and his days as a high-flying highlight reel have ended. In his last full season in Phoenix, Marion averaged 16.8 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The closest he’s come to those numbers since leaving Nash and the Suns is 14.6 points and 8.5 rebounds in 2008 as a member of the Raptors.
Saying that Stoudmire will suffer from a similar fate isn’t that far of a stretch. Amar’e, at 28-years-old, isn’t much younger than Marion, then 29-years-old, was when he left the Suns.
Plus, Stoudemire has more NBA miles on his already suspect knees than Marion did. Not to mention Amar’e is heading to a team that doesn’t have a point guard on their roster and as of this time the biggest rumored named to be joining the Knicks to distribute STAT the ball is Raymond Felton.
It’s no secret that Steve Nash makes everyone better, including Amar’e Stoudemire. The only question is how much?
In 2008 Amar’e told Stephen A. Smith this :
“Bottom line: I want to be that guy. I want to show the league and the world that I feel like my game has improved to that level.”
You are “that guy” in New York now Amar’e, and if free agency doesn’t pan out for the Knicks you may be the only guy. You got what you wanted and now you’re going to get to see what life is like without Steve Nash.