Amar’e Stoudemire announced this retirement this week, after signing with the Knicks to formally close out his career with the team. But, the decision made fans wonder: Why not the Phoenix Suns?
Apparently, the six-time All-Star has made it clear, over the past two offseasons, he wanted to return to Phoenix, but says he “wasn’t getting any positive response.”
“That would’ve been the perfect way to go out,” Stoudemire told The Arizona Republic this week. “I didn’t want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places — Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted.”
Stoudemire signed non-guaranteed contract with New York on Tuesday (July 26), before announcing his retirement. It’s unclear if he asked the Suns for the same deal.
“I wasn’t just going to keep knocking on someone’s door that wasn’t going to answer,” he told the paper.
Stoudemire, 33, closes out this career with averages of 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 846 games over 14 seasons for Phoenix, New York, Dallas and Miami, the first eight of which were for the Suns.
During his career, he earned six All-Star selections and an All-NBA first-team selection in 2006-07, when he and point guard Steve Nash were a formidable pick-and-roll duo in Phoenix. Depite all his accomplishments, Stoudemire never earned an NBA title.
“I’m at peace with it because I gave everything that I had,” Stoudemire told the paper. “It took a while. The game is such a beautiful game. I was truly in love with it, but there were no teams who needed my position.”