Updated Jul 6, 2010 - 9:28 am
Burns: Amar'e & D'Antoni = Made for each other
I want to hold it against Amar'e Stoudemire (not going to miss that apostrophe…not one bit) for taking a max deal instead of the Suns final offer. But I would be lying if I told you I'd do any different. And spare me the sanctimonious speech about taking less to win a title. You'd go for the cash-grab too.
I want to hold it against the New York Knicks for wanting (needing is more like it) to make a splash in free agency. But I can't. They had to do something to justify sucking for the last two years.
But I'm finding it ridiculously easy to hold it against both of them for choosing each other.
The Knicks and Amar'e? MFEO. Made For Each Other.
Stoudemire was so desperate to be a "max" player that he chose New York and Mike D'Antoni. While his Suns teammates were begging D'Antoni to stay with Phoenix, Amar'e infamously threw Mike under the vocabulary bus when he referred to him in the past tense (and then, struggling for something nice to say about him, Amar'e cited D'Antoni's practice schedule….all that team success and you praise him for his practice schedule?). Did anyone else find it odd that two of his now ex-teammates, Steve Nash and Jared Dudley both publicly congratulated Amar'e on the contract he received? Guess we know what was important to him.
Meanwhile, the Knicks were so desperate to sign somebody, anybody this offseason, they turned to Amar'e. $100 million dollars of uninsured salary to a player that D'Antoni is already on record as saying he couldn't reach as well as Alvin Gentry. You think this is what D'Antoni had in mind two years ago when he left Phoenix for New York? You think this is what the mayor of New York had in mind when he filmed a video begging for LeBron James to come to New York. Knicks fans have been fasting under the salary cap for two years but I'm guessing they'll find Amar'e to be a less-than-satisfying first meal.
It tells you everything you need to know that in the hours after Amar'e agreed to the Knicks deal, the reaction in New York had nothing to do with Stoudemire and everything to do with Stoudemire's ability to lure LeBron. If that happens, all bets are off and the Amar'e signing will have proven successful. When it doesn't, you can start selling the My-Team-Visited-Free-Agency-And-All-I-Got-Was-Amare t-shirts on the streets on New York.