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Gibberman: Stoudemire’s Step Back

In the 2009-10 NBA Season Amar’e Stoudemire finally showed the growth and development as a player and a leader that I have been waiting to see for the past two years.

He gave more effort on the defensive end, became an excellent passer, and was a big reason for why the Suns team chemistry improved dramatically.

I went as far to call him in a previous article the best player in the Western Conference after the All Star break.

The past two days Amar’e has gone back to his old self.

One thing that I expect from players who play at the highest level is to respect the game of basketball and everything it encompasses. Stoudemire didn’t always do this.

A moment from him that has always stuck out in my mind with Amar’e comes from after a regular season game against the Houston Rockets last year. In the game Rockets forward Carl Landry (now with the Sacramento Kings) wiped the floor with STAT on the offensive and defensive end. After the game when talking to reporters Amar’e called Landry “Kyle” Landry, not Carl.

In reality, not the biggest deal, but it was a small sign to me that Amar’e didn’t respect his opponent or the game of basketball.

I really did believe moments like this were history.

I was wrong.

Let’s start with before Game 1 at shoot around in the morning. Here are two quotes from Amar’e:

-“I played against Gasol in Memphis and it was total domination, but now he has a little brother with him so now he’s a little more confident because he’s got someone to help him in the post.”

-If he’s banged up, we’re going to try to bang him up some more. There’s no mercy, man. It’s the Western Conference finals.

This is right back to the theme of disrespect.

Amar’e showed a complete lack of regard for Pau Gasol, who by the way won an NBA Title as the 2nd best player on the Lakers, something Amar’e hasn’t been able to do with the Suns.

And he ran his mouth about Andrew Bynum and didn’t back up one word of it.

In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Amar’e Stoudemire banged no one, didn’t play a lick of defense, and decided he didn’t have to rebound either.

Amar’e had 3 rebounds against the Lakers on Monday night.

He was outrebounded by Jared Dudley and Louis Amundson, who both played less than 20 minutes.

Goran Dragic had the same amount of boards and Steve Nash had one more than him.

Instead of being a man and admitting the Lakers smacked them in the mouth, Amar’e went off and ran his mouth again.

These were Stoudemire’s thoughts on Lamar Odom’s terrific Game 1 performance, “I’m not giving him no hype right now he had a lucky game in Game 1.”

Really Amar’e?

You’re going to take a shot at Lamar Odom, who just made you look like a fool in a Western Conference Finals game?

All that Stoudemire did was make himself sound like an ignorant fool with that comment for a few reasons.

#1 Lamar Odom averaged more rebounds per game than Amar’e in the regular season, playing three less minutes per game.

#2 Odom’s rebounding numbers only get better when Andrew Bynum doesn’t play. In the month of April when Bynum missed every game Odom increased his RPG to 11.6 from his 9.8 season average.

#3 Odom had a stretch from 12/26 to 1/13 where he had 11 straight double digit rebounding games and from 3/31 to 4/13 he had 7 straight. Stoudemire’s best stretch was from 12/15 to 12/23 when he had 5 straight double digit rebounding games.

#4 Odom’s season high for rebounds in a game was 22. STAT’s was 21.

So let’s get this straight: Lamar Odom had the lucky game when he averaged more rebounds per game, was a more consistent rebounder, increased his rebounding averages when given more minutes, and had a better season high?

For the record I’m pretty sure the luckier game would be if Amar’e had a 19 rebounding effort, not Lamar Odom.

Amar’e needs to shut his mouth, play ball, and show the game of basketball the respect it deserves.

you can follow me on twitter at Bgibbs10