June 02, 2009
Sulaiman Folarin is the editor of JOCKlife.com, the voice of the athlete. Today, Sly drops by Ball Don't Lie after briefly chatting with Phoenix Suns power forward Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) about playing with Shaq, his new customized Nike kicks and the NBA playoffs ...
Sulaiman Folarin: What are your thoughts on the NBA postseason so far?
Stoudemire: I got the Lakers winning it all, but it's going to be very interesting to watch. David Stern is pretty happy the way it's turning out so far; I am even though I am not a part of it. But we'll be back next season. As a spectator, I'm loving it; it's fun to watch and it's beautiful.
Folarin: It was a tough Western Conference this season as Brandon Roy(notes) and the Portland Trail Blazers flipped spots with the Suns. How disappointed are you that Phoenix did not compete in the postseason?
Stoudemire: B-Roy knows what it is. Stoudemire was down for 30 games and that gave him a chance to get into the playoffs, you feel what I'm saying? [laughs] But call me a die-hard back with a vengeance next season.
Folarin: These Nike Trainer 1's don't come out till July, but you have a pair designed specifically to your taste and matching team color. Outside of that, how comfortable are they?
Stoudemire: That's the most important thing; you want to be comfortable. You don't want to have no shoes that are uncomfortable, because you don't feel confident about yourself, about your game, or about your shoes. If you got kicks like these, the Nike Trainer 1's, well, they're totally comfortable — especially from a training aspect. When you put them on when you start training, you can’t help but have your swag on [...] because you look good and they feel good.
Folarin: These shoes are supposedly less than 10 oz. As a professional athlete how important is that during training and getting yourself that next deal for some extra bling?
Stoudemire: Very important. That gives me another two inches in my vertical leap. For football players, who time their 40, it may give them an extra second. With that being said, if you have a 30-inch vertical leap and it goes higher, to say a 40, you liable to get you a contract extension and change your lifestyle, man. All depending on your shoes and the weight of it.
Stoudemire: [Laughs] Shaq is probably the most charismatic and entertaining entertainer in the game of basketball. I play with a great guy and I hope he stays with us next season so I can play with him again. Shaq is fun. He is a great player, first of all, and, secondly, he is fun to be around. He is energetic and brings this positive aura to the locker room, because he is such a great locker room guy.
Folarin: Since you are so comfortable with Shaq's persona and having him around, do you see some of the qualities he displays in you? What are some of the similarities in you and Shaq?
Stoudemire: Shaq does joke around a lot. I'm more serious at times, when it comes down to the game. I take the game a lot more serious. My approach is that of a player who will always lead by example not by force, you feel me? Shaq is similar to that too. I think my similarities — hopefully if my career continues to blossom — the similarities would be that we are both Hall of Famers and champions.