Report: Amar’e Stoudemire wanted a victory lap before retirement

Jul 26, 2016, 2:45 PM | Updated: 4:44 pm
Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire, left, and Steve Nash (13) pose for photographs, Monday, Oct. 1, 200...
Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire, left, and Steve Nash (13) pose for photographs, Monday, Oct. 1, 2007, during NBA basketball media day in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It came as a surprise that Amar’e Stoudemire ended his career by signing a one-day contract with the New York Knicks rather than completing his final hours as an NBA player as a member of the Phoenix Suns, where he spent his best days of his 14-year career.

That doesn’t mean Stoudemire didn’t want that chance.

The six-time NBA All-Star and 2002 first-round pick of the Suns wanted a victory lap in Phoenix and elsewhere, but the Suns weren’t interested, reports Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro.

Could the fit have worked?

Phoenix already committed to fill its power forward need by signing veteran Jared Dudley and has P.J. Tucker also at hand to split time alongside rookies Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender.

A Stoudemire signing might align with the Suns already bringing back his former Seven Seconds or Less teammates Leandro Barbosa and Dudley this offseason.

But it wouldn’t make sense from a financial, productivity or developmental standpoint.

By bringing Stoudemire back in a limited role and even on a reasonable deal, the Suns would add more of a mediocre logjam to the frontcourt that might hamper this season’s development of Bender and Chriss. Even though Phoenix has plenty of money to spend, Stoudemire wasn’t exactly known as the same type of developmental leader as Dudley, for example.

His resume doesn’t exactly lend any evidence that he’ll help Bender or Chriss learn correct pick-and-roll coverage — Bender is arguably already ahead of him in that regard. As for his skillset, he wouldn’t fit any need as a limited pick-and-roll dive man.

Simply put, the fit wasn’t right, nor was the timing.

It isn’t known whether Stoudemire would have accepted or whether the Suns offered to sign him on a one-day deal.

Sure, it could’ve given Suns fans a fuzzy feeling inside.

Then again, a large segment of Valley sports fans hardly celebrated Stoudemire’s 8.9 rebounds per game while he played in Phoenix. As unfair as that criticism might’ve been, it wasn’t completely unwarranted.

Regardless, he leaves the game with seasons of outright dominance, having made Phoenix fans jump off their couches in reaction to his violent slams whether they loved him for what he was or wished he was the more complete player that he was not. Those memories are there, no matter which team Stoudemire ended his career with.

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Report: Amar’e Stoudemire wanted a victory lap before retirement