NBA Free Agency Rumors: Amar'e Stoudemire Chasing Waterfalls

Joseph EdmondsonCorrespondent IJune 9, 2010

PHOENIX - MAY 29:  Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the Phoenix Suns goes to dunk the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers in the third quarter of Game Six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at US Airways Center on May 29, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

That’s Amar’e!

Perhaps I defended him too soon .

ESPN released this article tonight on Amar’e Stoudemire.

Instead of being humble shortly after the Suns’ exit from the playoffs, he’s lobbying for a maximum contract and saying he’s given 100 percent to the organization. He’s even mentioned the “hype” as a reason he should stay.

Perhaps that’s the problem, Amar’e's hype gets you nowhere and, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what happened in the past seasons, what everyone will remember is this year's series against the Lakers.

You, Amar’e, inspired a Lakers’ bench to step up and play in Game Two.

You, Amar’e, exploded in Game Three, bringing delight and hope to your fans, only to disappear and make untimely mistakes when it really mattered; down the stretch, at home, in the series' first elimination game.

A teacher once told me how good I could be if I only lived up to my potential. Well, potential’s just hype, right?

If Phoenix does give you the max contract, we’ll lose some key parts of this team to free agency in order to afford you and we’ll also have to bring in aging scrubs (sorry, future scrubs, welcome to the team) to fill the voids. Why not show that 100 percent you speak of by showing a little sacrifice?

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Why not show those fans you’re talking about just how loyal you are and give them a discount on your talents?

Hell, why not score 42 points in every game next season while grabbing 11 boards?

If you’re going to ask for the max, you should certainly deliver.

After your statements, I’m not so sure I want you back on our team.

Mr. Max, among forwards, you were 13th in the league in rebounding during the regular season, 19th in blocks, seventh in scoring, and the sixth-worst in turnovers. You also committed the sixth-most personal fouls and you were only eighth in efficiency. Oh, and the kicker, you were 65th in free-throw shooting.

Does that sound like a max-contract player to you, Mr. Stoudemire?

Make no mistake about it, you’re talented and have often lived up to your nickname, but don’t start thinking that the success of the Suns is on your shoulders alone. In fact, one of the three conference finals appearances you mentioned happened in a season in which you played only three games.

Three games!

Additionally, your combined record in your first two seasons prior to Nash’s arrival was only 73-91, without making it past the first round of the playoffs in your rookie year and watching them from home in your second year after finishing with a terrible record.

If you’d like to bring up the past, please do, but trust me, Phoenix fans see the past through something other than rose-colored lenses. They may just see injuries, inconsistency, lost time, and some glaring lacks of effort on your part on both ends of the floor. 

Now, I'm not questioning your dedication to the game, because you told me I shouldn't after that 42-point outburst, but I am pointing out that your definition of the game is clearly centered around yourself.

I love you and Nash both, but I'm not afraid to call it how I see it, and these comments will rub many of your loyal fans the wrong way, even those who defended you and chastised Nash, like me.

I promise you, money isn't everything, and the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Ask Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, and Quentin Richardson.

Ask D'Antoni.

You've got a great team, Amar'e, and you're being selfish. Give your team a chance to come back stronger next year. Give your fans a reason to trust you rather than doubt you.

In the end, your loyalty and sacrifice will be honored.

In case you're wondering what it looks like, see Grant Hill's comments about staying in Phoenix. He summed it up rather simply.

"The decision to stay in Phoenix was easy."

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