Stoudemire Wanted Security And Is Ready To Lead The Young Guys By Example

Amar’e had some very interesting things to say yesterday, to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, while he was playing ball at US Airways Arena, his old haunt.

On the contract offer from the Suns which required him to play an average of 28 minutes in his last two years:

“It was fair from Robert’s standpoint. 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.”

On rebuilding in New York:

“My goal is to do what I did here in Phoenix – to rebuild. “The year we traded Stephon (Marbury), Penny (Hardaway) and Googs (Tom Gugliotta), the next year we rebuilt. The question ownership asked to me was, ‘Who do I want – Jason Kidd, Steve Nash or Kobe Bryant?’ I said Steve. Over Kobe. At the time, Kobe had a reputation for being selfish and Steve was the ultimate point guard. I felt like that’s what we needed. We had Joe Johnson and Shawn Marion. We just didn’t have a PG to control tempo. Kidd was banged up after microfracture (knee surgery).

“I was pretty good for the three years before we got Steve. We’re going to be OK. These young guys are not quite used to working hard. We’re going to get them over the hump.  We can be as good as we want to be. In order to be a great leader, you must follow first. I’ve been able to follow Steve, Grant Hill, Shaquille O’Neal and Penny. Now I feel it’s time for me to lead these young guys to success.”

On playing defense and playing with D’Antoni again:

“It definitely changed. We communicate more. I’m more mature than I was at 22 or 23. Studying defense over the past couple years helped, and I’m a better defensive player. He’s committed to it, but the main thing is for us as players to commit to it.”


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