September 02, 2010
There has been a whole lot of player movement this offseason, obviously. Big names, small names, some as big as your head — players be switchin' teams. So many changes were made that it's kind of hard to keep track of where everybody ended up. For instance, Ramon Sessions(notes) is on the Cavaliers now, which totally slips my mind every time I think about how bad Cleveland is going to be next season.
It's easy to assume that the players themselves can keep up with all the changes. As we've learned this summer, all of these guys are best friends, so it only makes sense that they'd remember where their friends are playing. Or, for that matter, where they're playing. However, Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) seems to be having a little trouble keeping everything straight. From the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro:
Wednesday was like any early September day at US Airways Center the past eight years.
Always an early-summer arrival, Amar'e Stoudemire was working out in the training room, playing informal games with some Suns and leaving last after a rigorous individual session.
Even though he wore Suns shorts, he was just visiting an old home now that he's a member of the New York Knicks. It is a common open-door policy for NBA players to work out in opposing arenas, but Stoudemire did not expect to find a game to join, and he needed to borrow shorts.
Whoops, wrong team. It's easy to confuse the Suns and the Knicks, what with the orange and the Mike D'Antoni and all, but someone should remind Amar'e Stoudemire he plays in New York now. Otherwise, this is going to get awkward really fast. And can we get him some shorts, too? The man needs some shorts.
Just kidding, guys. Amar'e Stoudemire totally knows who he plays for and was just back for a nice visit with his former team, which is pretty common if not a little weird. After publicly stating he wanted to remain with the team, it's kind of surprising that Stoudemire would be welcomed back with arms wide open, under the Suns-light. But according to Amar'e, his departure from Phoenix was amicable.
Again, from Paul Coro:
Three months after signing a five-year, $99.7 million deal with New York, Stoudemire, who played eight years with Phoenix, said he is not used to his new life. But he has no hard feelings about his departure.
Managing Partner Robert Sarver offered him a five-year, $96.6 million contract with $56 million guaranteed and the rest kicking in if Stoudemire logged significant minutes in the third and fourth years.
"It was fair from Robert's standpoint," Stoudemire said. "I understand his concerns, which were injuries and health. There are no hard feelings at all. From a security standpoint for myself and with as much work as I put in on the court, I was after a greater goal. It was a fair offer from his standpoint. We still talk and have a good friendship.
"The greater goal was to have a sense of security. I didn't want a football deal (with some or all of the money non-guaranteed). I want a NBA deal. That's what I ended up getting."
Makes sense to me. Amar'e is a guy who's suffered injuries in the past, and if a team is going to offer him more money — all of which is guaranteed — then he'd be silly to not take it. And despite his clothing and name punctuation choices, Amar'e's not silly.
But he's also not a Sun, which is what makes this so funny. Someone please get him to New York so he can get used to playing with point guards who don't pass him the ball exactly where he wants it every time he's open. And seriously, someone get him some shorts.