Dear Amar’e – A Letter To Amar’e Stoudemire
Many people aren’t going to understand why I’m writing this letter to you, but I feel it was important. You’ve just called it a day on a glittering career, and unfortunately, the younger generation won’t remember you for who you truly where – an absolute beast.
Yes, in the last chapter of your career you became somewhat of a journeyman. Going from franchise to franchise trying to find a place that could accommodate your skillset and who you could help. It made me sad watching it, as I remember the absolute dominant force you were when I was growing up.
It always used to upset me seeing you suffer yet another injury. They say in the NBA a big man’s prime is short, but yours was cut even shorter because of this. It wasn’t easy all the time.
You know, I still remember watching the Western Conference Semi Finals like it was just yesterday, all the way back in 2005. You dropped 40 and had 16 rebounds against the Mavericks and it was honestly just a pleasure to sit there and watch you go to work.
A beautiful and gratifying moment for me was when I was watching last year’s NBA finals. During the telecast, Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson were all discussing players and aspects that changed and revolutionized the game. They dived into things such as the rules being changed because of Wilt’s dominance, the change of rules that allowed MJ to be great, the dominance of Shaq and LeBron, the NBA culture of Allen Iverson and LeBron changing the business side of the game. At that very same moment, Steph and Draymond played a ‘pick and pop’, and Jeff Van Gundy said without hesitation “How about Amar’e Stoudemire changing the game with the pick and pop for a big man, taking bigs away from the basket and really becoming an outside threat, in Pheonix with him and Steve Nash, they truly changed the pick and roll game forever.” It was such a nice moment, and a truly well deserved one.
You made wearing googles whilst playing sport cool, and still to this day whenever I see an NBA player or athlete in general wearing them, you cross my mind straight away.
The younger generation might not miss you as much, but for people that know and have been around the NBA for awhile, you will be a name we will always remember and miss dearly.
Those incredible days in Phoenix with yourself and Steve Nash will live on as the greatest days in franchise history, and some of the most fun we’ve had in the NBA.
Thank you for dedicating yourself to the game and giving us great moments.
Enjoy retirement, Stat.
Basketball purists will miss you.