Amare Stoudemire: Please...Don't "Be The Man!"

John C. Sease, Jr.Correspondent IDecember 28, 2008

Okay...I confess!

I have been known to watch a little television in my day and I am no stranger to stars wanting to "be the man!"

Several years ago NYPD Blue was a popular television show with high ratings.

David Caruso (currently of CSI: Miami fame) was a star of the show...along with Dennis Franz who played Andy Sipowitz.

After the first season, Caruso began to believe that he was the star of the show and demanded more money.  However, the producers of the show saw differently and decided to write his character out of the series.  With a magical stroke of a pen, we never heard from Caruso again until nine years later with CSI: Miami; while Franz went on to win several Emmy's for his potrayal of Sipowitz.

The same thing happened on another of my favorite television shows...Monk.

After the third season, Bitty Schram (who played his assistant Sharona) decided that she was a star and demanded more money; thus ending her tenure with the show.  She hasn't been seen since her departure; while Tony Shalhoub has won multiple Emmy's for his portrayal of Monk.

Like in the television industry, this addiction of needing to "be the man" is nothing new to professional basketball.

Many years ago, Stephon Marbury had the luxury of playing with an up-and-coming young phenom named Kevin Garnett.

The thought of the two young prodigies playing their career together made the Minnesota Timberwolves fans salivate.  Optimism was high in Minnesota and the arena was sold out constantly.

Then, a tragic thing happened.

Stephon Marbury decided that he didn't want to play "second fiddle" to Garnett and demanded a trade so that he could "be the man" elsewhere.

Gee...this sounds awful familiar!

I recall when Kendall Gill was a star guard on the talented Charlotte Hornets squad that had Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Mugsy Bogues, Dell Curry, and many more.

It was not enough for Gill to be a part of a winning team.  He wanted to be traded so that he could "be the man" elsewhere.

The same happened in Toronto when Tracy McGrady fled the shadow of his more popular cousin...Vince Carter.  Like Marbury and Gill before him, T-mac also needed to "be the man" elsewhere.

Now, we are hearing cries from Phoenix that Amare Stoudemire wants to be traded because he too wants to "be the man" elsewhere.

When will this addiction to "be the man" end?

When will these individuals realize they are nothing more than "above average" players that have yet to reach superstardom?

When will they realize they are better with their current "star sidekick" than without?

Instead, their need to "be the man" has simply transformed them into nothing more than nomadic players that have yet to fulfill their potential.

When will they get smart and realize there is nothing wrong with playing second fiddle?  After all, Magic played second fiddle to Kareem and embraced the role; while having a "Hall of Fame" career in the process. 

In addition, Pippen played second fiddle to Jordan and had a "Hall of Fame" career.  McHale played second fiddle to Bird and had a "Hall of Fame" career.  Duncan played second fiddle to Robinson and will surely be in the  "Hall of Fame."

However, in contrast, Stephon Marbury has done nothing except make every team on which he has played worse than it was prior to his arrival; while his ex-teammate (Garnett) enjoyed many "MVP type" seasons in Minnesota.

Garnett finally changed teams and ended up winning a championship when he was given what he always needed in Minnesota...a little help.  The irony is that the help was already in place before Marbury decided to leave Minnesota in his quest to "be the man."  He was the help!!!

Furthermore, T-Mac has been nothing more than a useless scoring machine who can't win a playoff game even when healthy.

As far as Kendall Gill...Kendall who?

What is the moral of this story?

Quite simply that Amare Stoudemire should shut his mouth and continue taking assists from Steve Nash.

The reality is that he will never "be the man" on any team on which he plays because he is not that type of a talent.  At the moment, he is an above average player that could help a team win a championship alongside his star sidekick.

That being said, Amare, please learn from those previous knuckleheads and stay in Phoenix.

If not, then I'll be writing this same story five years from now when you are nothing more than a nomadic journeyman in your quest "to be the man!"