Amar’e Stoudemire Has a Message for the People that Believe His Great Play Is Related to His Desire for a Max Contract This Summer: “They are simply retarded”March 30, 2010 – 11:20 am by Chris Fedor
Maybe it’s because the playoffs are right around the corner, maybe it’s because he’s healthy finally, maybe it’s because he’s playing for a contract this summer, or maybe it’s because there are no trade rumors swirling around Amar’e Stoudemire. Whatever the reason is, Stoudemire has taken his game to a whole ‘nother level since not being traded in mid-February. In fact, in the month of March, Stoudemire is staking his claim as the game’s best power forward. In the last 12 games, STAT is averaging nearly 29 points per game, 10 rebounds per game and the Suns are 10-2. Some people have questioned whether or not Stoudemire should be given a max contract this summer. If he continues to play like this and continues to stay healthy, he will erase all of that doubt.
Amar’e Stoudemire joined KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf to talk about the play of the Suns recently, his tremendous month that he has had, whether or not he wants to stay in Phoenix ,and whether or not his excellent play is related to the desire of getting a new max contract this off-season.
On why the Suns have been able to turn things around:
“I just think that we’re now totally focused on the playoff push and trying to up the intensity. All of us collectively are trying to really step up and do more on the basketball court. I think that’s why our level of play has improved.”
On people saying that he is the best power forward in the NBA right now:
“It’s great to get those compliments. With that being said it all comes because of the team’s success. I look at it, if I try to improve and get better on the basketball court, as a team we will improve. I always try to work on my game a little extra here and there. Get extra shots up, but really try to focus in every night before game time and make sure we execute offensively and defensively and go from there.”
How Alvin Gentry has helped the Suns and his defense:
“I think one thing he did is he simplified the defensive side of the ball for everybody. We all kinda bought into our rotations a lot easier. Now we know where to go. Offensively he put trust in me out there. Put the ball in my hands a little bit and allowed me to make a few plays. His confidence in me rose as did the confidence in myself and it just grew from there.”
On what motivates him:
“Wanting to improve, wanting to reach your full potential, and wanting to be great. That drives me and with that being said, I’m pretty sure that drives us as a team. That’s our engine that could.”
On what he emphasized improving on this season:
“I said it before the season, my emphasis this year was to improve defensively. That was my goal to come back as a better defensive player. With me not being able to play all summer, to have any time to work on it, I think through training camp, through playing, and through experience this season, it allowed me to improve after every game. I think that’s where I’ve improved the most this year is defensively.”
On what he would say to the people who believe he is playing this way because he wants a max contract:
“I would say they are simply retarded and they haven’t been watching my career at all since I’ve been in the league. Ever since I’ve been in the league, I’ve been improving every single summer. Getting myself in total top shape, focusing on winning a championship, getting through those playoffs runs, and coming back with force and reckless abandon. I’ve been improving every single year, after the All Star break I’ve been improving, so if they think I’m just playing for a contract, they’re out of their minds.”