Amar’e Stoudemire Damaging His Legacy?
Outside of winning championships, there are so precious few ways to transform the labels fastened to the young, immature basketball player. For years, Amar’e Stoudemire maddened everyone with the Phoenix Suns. He was a bewildering blend of talent and moodiness, a prolific scorer forever devoid of desire on defense. His moods were legendary and leadership was a lost cause.
Then everything changed in Stoudemire’s final season with the Suns three years ago. “And it was dramatic,” Steve Kerr, the Suns’ former general manager, said by phone Tuesday. “I felt like he figured it out at the end in Phoenix, and carried that right into New York, where he really learned how to be the man for them.”
Stoudemire had been magnificent in New York, a leader, a monster scorer and rebounder with a young team. He was willing to sacrifice his game upon the arrival of Carmelo Anthony. When his back was too stiff to bend, he played hurt in the playoffs. And then in a fit of frustration and anger, he sent his fist through the facing of a fire extinguisher Monday night. The blood of a lost Knicks season – the blood of a lost legacy – was on his hands.