The Brooklyn Nets will add Amare Stoudemire to their assistant coaching staff.
With the move, Stoudemire will reunite with former Phoenix Suns teammate, Steve Nash who is now Brooklyn’s head coach.
One person who is excited for the move is Stephon Marbury.
A Brooklyn, New York native, Marbury played for the Nets during their days in New Jersey, was briefly Stoudemire’s teammmate with the Suns and was part of the 1996 NBA Draft class along with Steve Nash.
“The both worked well with each other on the court,” Marbury told me via text message.
“So off the court should be the same.”
A six-time NBA All-Star, NBA Rookie of the Year and All-NBA First Teamer, Stat averaged 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game during his NBA career in stints with the Suns, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.
Stoudemire, 37, last played in the NBA in 2016 with the Heat.
He has since played overseas for Israeli club Hapoel, the Jerusalem Fujian Sturgeons and for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
A McDonalds High School All American and the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft out of Orlando, Florida’s Cyrpess Creek High School, this summer, Stoudemire led Maccabi Tel Aviv to an Israli Championship win while also being named Israeli League Finals MVP.
Stoudemire is widely remembered for playing for the Phoenix Suns.
Nash and Stoudemire were teammates in Phoenix from 2005-2010 and put on a show!
Stoudemire remembered those days like they were yesterday; especially in playing with Steve Nash. “My first 3 years, I didn’t completely understand what we were doing,” Stoudemire once told me.
“We were doing something special. At the time it was happening so fast, we didn’t really know exactly what was going on until year two or year three.”
One of the biggest ‘what ifs’ of the Suns’ franchize is the question: What if the Suns had gone to the NBA Finals in 2007?!
“We would have had a great chance to win against Cleveland,” Stoudemire told me.
“We were playing at an extremely high level that year.”
The Suns had a phenomenal year and were on the track to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. That all changed in Game 4 of the 2007 Western Conference between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns.
With only a bit of time remaining, Spurs forward, Robert Horry knocked Steve Nash into the scorer’s table, leaving the former MVP a bloody mess.
Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were on the Suns’ bench at the time and rushed to the court to defend Nash’s honor. For those keeping score at home, that is a no-no in the NBA rule book.
The league suspended Horry for two games and handed Stoudemire and Diaw a one-game suspension for leaving the “immediate vicinity of the Suns bench.”
“Boris and myself had no idea of that rule and we retaliate off natural reaction,” said Stoudemire.
“I was hoping the league would take that into consideration and give out a warning. But they came with the hammer, man.”
The Suns won the game to tie the series at two games apiece. But, without Stoudemire and Diaw, the Spurs overpowered Phoenix and took the series — costing Nash perhaps his best chance at a title.
“I think we would definitely have gotten to the Finals,” said Stoudemire.
“We would have had a great chance to win against Cleveland. There were a lot of discrepancies with San Antonio even with the officiating with Donaghy.”
“There were a lot of discrepancies with San Antonio,” he said.
“Even with the officiating with Donaghy, at the time.
“I’m not exactly sure what was happening. I wish we would have had a chance to play in that game.”
Tim Donaghy was a former 13-year referee in the NBA. He served time in prison for his role in a huge NBA gambling scandal.
He resigned in 2007.
Stouemire and Nash didn’t win any NBA Championships as players, but they have the chance to do so as coaches in their respective roles in Brooklyn. It’s a redemptive story for a Nets team who have never won an NBA Championship.
Winners of multiple ABA Championships during their hey-day with Julius Erving on Long Island, New York, the Nets have made appearances in the NBA Finals during the Jason Kidd-New Jersey Nets era of basketball.
Now in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, they’re looking to change that with last season’s free agency additions of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as faces of the team.