Latest News, NBA / Sep 2, 2010 / 1:00 pm

Amar’e Stoudemire Told The Suns They Don’t Need Kobe

Amar'e Stoudemire (photo. King Lawrence)

When you’re talking about building a team, even Amar’e Stoudemire believes in the importance of the point guard. After all, many believe it was two-time MVP Steve Nash that made Amar’e the player he is today. But when reminiscing with Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic yesterday, you might be surprised to hear that Stoudemire told the Suns’ brass after they traded away Stephon Marbury, Penny Hardaway and Tom Gugliotta during the 2003-04 season, he’d rather have Nash as his teammate than Kobe Bryant.

“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).”

Now if you’ve never met Stoudemire, you don’t realize that he’s a straight-shooter. So when STAT says he told the Suns to pursue Nash instead of Kobe, he wasn’t kidding around. If you don’t remember the Summer of 2004, the free agent pool included Bryant, Nash, Manu Ginobili, Karl Malone and Rasheed Wallace, amongst others. And it took some spending on their behalf (a six-year package worth more than $65 million) to bring Nash back to Phoenix. For what it’s worth, Kobe’s contract with the Lakers was worth more than $136.4 million over seven years, and Kidd underwent microfracture surgery to repair a damaged knee on July 1, 2004.

What do you think? Would the Suns have been better off had they signed Kobe?

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  • LakeShow84

    I remember watching Amare, Marion and Bryant go off in one of the AllStar game..

    they play’d F’in BEAUTIFUL together..

    But i agree with what Amare said and it was smart at the time.. They already had Joe Johnson and Marion with Amare included.. Really all they needed was a PG for tempo..

    But who knows where his true feelings where at considering he just took the money and went NY.. maybe he didnt want Kobe takin some of his “shine”..

    But from a basketball standpoint what he said made sense.. then again Nash has always been a poor defender and having Kobe gives you one of the better defenders at his position who can also guard 1-3..

    dunno its all about what u want to get from ur roster..

  • LakeShow84

    Oh but considering Kobe is a Spur/Maverick killer i think they mightve been better off lol

  • Heckler

    they never had a shot at Kobe.
    but Amar’e was WRONG anyway. if you can get the best player, you take the best player. and Kobe was BY FAR the best free agent (even though he wasnt really available–we all knew he was going to re-sign with the Lakers).

    steve nash wasnt anything special in Dallas; people had him ranked behind mike bibby as a point guard. so I dunno why Stoudamire was convinced the team should sign Nash.

  • for da luv of da game

    the real question should be would kobe have signed with the suns in the first place? everyone has their own opinions but me personally i like the suns better with nash than kobe and the nba probably liked it better that way also b4 all the teaming up of superstars this kept it competitive and exciting for everyone people also forget that malone and payton both went with LA and they didn’t win it so it is what it is nothing is guaranteed in anything

  • Wetnurse

    It would of been interesting, but no.

    His contract would have been way to big for them to handle surrounding them with other talent. I’m a big Kobe fan, but two big EGOS like STAT and KB24 on one team- would have ended like it did with Shaq

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.brogden BERN BROGDEN

    OK. i agree 2 a certain extent. The team needed a pg to control the tempo. Suns already had decent wings.

    But it’s one of those situations where you have to decide:
    BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE
    or.
    BEST ROSTER NEED

    If they could’ve landed Kobe. I don’t see why a player – without ulterior motives – would disagree.
    But then again Kobe wasn’t (and probably still isn’t) the best teammate. He’s learned to settle into his leadership role…but he used to be on his AI sh*t. HEAVY. So I see what Stat’s saying…but on the other hand, when the best player on the planet is available and you got dough in the coffers – SPEND BABY, SPEND!!

    I meant…WIN BABY, WIN!!

  • Promoman

    As far as being selfish goes, you can argue the same about Amare. He doesn’t give 100% on defense & rebounding all the time and this was going on pre-microfracture surgery. Kobe does shoot a lot and has a rap sheet for being foul but the man shows up to compete every game.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    They hands down made the right decision. Nash was the right player for that team.

    …and I’m sure that Kobe doesn’t mind how things turned out, either, haha

  • http://facebook.com/togstadlives Jeremiah Togstad

    short answer = no

  • Michorizo

    If you can get a player like Kobe, you go after him and secure him for as long as you can and you never let him go…sometimes it seems like Amare has diareah from the mouth.

  • Joe’s Momma

    If this is the truth, STAT should be a GM when he retires.

    But I don’t know if I would pick Nash over Kobe. Joe Johnson can handle the point. Matrix played the 4. Works pretty good from that standpoint.

  • NYK

    1. kobe would never go to the suns. he can do chicago, clippers, and maybe even knicks. but def. not phoenix

    2. STAT filled his stat sheet all thanks to Nash. his numbers will all go down if he did not have Nash. Hopefully with the Knicks D’antoni can make plays for him with the help of Felton. (this remains to be seen)

  • Native

    Kobe is out of the Suns league. They would never have been able to land him. No-one of Kobe’s calibre leaves the Lakers to play for the Suns.

  • the truth

    Amare is giving props to his former teammate and showing him respect. I got no problem with that even though Kobe would have clearly helped the team more than nash

  • Heckler

    quote from article up above:
    “After all, many believe it was two-time MVP Steve Nash that made Amar’e the player he is today.”

    LAUGHABLE!

    Amar’e Stoudamire was rookie of the year in 2002 with Steph Marbury as his point guard! Steve Nash helped Stoudamires FG%, but outside of that….steve aint help shit.

    in fact, the Suns roster HELPED steve nash more than he helped any of them. shawn marion was an allstar in phoenix in 2004–BEFORE steve nash even joined the Suns.

    now Nash, he wasnt SHIT before getting back to Phoenix. after joining Joe Cool, Matrix and STAT, Nash became an MVP. he wasnt producing like that in Dallas. and in Dallas, he had some ballers with him (Finley, Dirk, Van Exel etc).

    Nash wasnt leading the league in assists before going back to Phoenix. he wasnt as deadly a shooter in Dallas.

    Nah man…yalls need to correct yourselves. Steve Nash was MADE by the roster in Phoenix more than he helped make any player….

  • JA

    With all the money the Suns ‘saved’ on getting Nash instead of Kobe, you think they could have just paid JJ

  • Qrentis

    @Heckler

    He saw potential in nash obviously..
    Two mvp’s to kobes one…

    But yes kobes has the rings..
    But yes.. Kobes has aways had a team…

    Kobe gets respect from me… But hell have to get 7 maybe even 8 to even live up to what he wants to be …. the best

  • JAY

    I love Nash but when was the last time a team, led by a point guard, won a championship??

  • Qrentis

    @Heckler

    You say nash helped his fg% and that’s it..

    Stupid fool he got amare them fgs.. haha

  • Andrew

    Typical dime using the headline to get viewership when it is taken out of context.

  • Ross

    Amare didn’t want to play #2 period. Listen to his comments. The best player was Kobe to think that if they could have possibly got Kobe with amare…hmm maybe Phoenix would be celebrating instead of watching the Black Mamba hit step back jumpers in their grill on Grant Hill and laugh at Alvin Gentry..Phoenix 0 RINGS…BRYANT..5. Checkmate.

  • Qrentis

    Nash lacked defense and that hut his team and his legacy.. but he’s doin something we wont forget one the offense side.. lol he got to mvps for that shit.. lol

  • JAY

    @Heckler…
    It’s tru Marion was an All-star before Nash got there… but when he played with Nash, Marion was selected to the All-NBA 3rd team.

    “Steve Nash helped Stoudamires FG%, but outside of that…steve aint help shit. ”
    Nash didn’t help shit?? Are you serious?? Amare’s shooting percentage increased DRASTICALLY….

    FG% before Nash: .475
    FG% w/ Nash: .559

    PPG Before Nash: 20.6
    Ppg w/ Nash: 26

    In fact… Amare’s shooting percentage w/ Nash is WAAAAY over 50%. Before Nash, he was under.
    Throw in the fact that the Suns only won 29 games before he got there, and won 62 games his first year, do you really believe it was Nash who was made by the Suns?? To me, signs point the opposite of what you’re claiming.

  • Qrentis

    I’m out..

  • Cha-Ching

    and this is why the Suns don’t win rings…Kobe like how does my ass taste punks

  • Orange

    JAY says:
    I love Nash but when was the last time a team, led by a point guard, won a championship??
    —————
    i’ve heard it been said that the 89/90 championships were led by Isaiah Thomas

  • JAY

    Thanks Orange… but that was rhetorical.
    ‘Tis all good.

  • JAY

    Just wanted to make a point that elite PGs don’t bring championships home. If the article is true, Amare isn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    Then again, i don’t think anyone thinks Amare is a bright guy. Not that he cares what any of us think.

  • Crew Dizzy

    This is probably why whoever the gm was then is not the gm now. You take Nash over Kobe? In hindsight Marion fell off, Joe Johnson though solid is arguably one of the most overpaid and overrated players in the league. Steve Nash still hasn’t been to a finals. At the time of this meeting Kobe was still in prime if his career while Nash was beginning to age. The whole point the Mavs let him go was because they didn’t think he would last. Though he hasn’t missed many games the window with a Kobe and Amare tandum would have been larger, Moral of the story Gms and front offices don’t let players build the team…that’s your job.

  • Bizz

    The theory of taking Nash to fit the structure was correct, but if the worry/logic was “we have Joe Johnson to play the 2, and Kobe plays the 2 and we don’t have a point guard” then the answer to the question is sign Kobe and ship Joe Johnson’s mugly ass to a team for a starting pg, or even better, keep Nate Robinson/Rondo (who Phoenix drafted then got rid of)…

    A couple years later, Joe Johnson gets traded for Boris Diaw in a sign and trade. So yea…even more so the answer was sign Kobe lmao!

  • Sacto_J

    F@ck Kobe

  • CONEY ISLANDER

    KOBE IS AN ASSASSIN OUTRIGHT, BUT EVEN THEY GET THEIR MARCHING ORDERS FROM A HANDLER.

  • karizmatic

    Of course the Suns would have been better off had they signed Kobe. Amare might be a straight shooter but he’s also full of issh. Any moderately successful power forward would rather play with Nash than Kobe. Why? Because with Nash you know you’re going to get the ball more, you’re going to get more shots, and you’re going to look better without having to do the grimy things like play defense and rebound.

    Kobe is the best shooting guard in the league, he’s going to always take most of the shots and the best you can be with him is a second option, but the proof is in the pudding. How many rings does Kobe have? How many do Nash and Amare have? Ok then. You might get less shots with Kobe, but you win championships with him.

  • Heckler

    @ qrentis (#19) and
    @ jay (# 23)

    please tell me what either of you know about steve nash before he went back to phoenix in 2005? “dont worry…i’ll wait” (while you look it up). exactly. you dont remember shit, because he wasnt shit. steve nash is like kevin garnett. a glorified role player; of sorts. only flourishes when teammed with other stars.

    Amar’e Stoudemire played 15 games from 2004-2010 WITHOUT Steve Nash. in those 15 games, he averaged over 23pts per game. without Nash, Amare averages 8.4rebs (with Nash, 8.9rebs–only slight difference). in those 15 games, Stat scored over 25pts nine times–all without Nash.

    prior to Nash, with Steph Marbury as the point guard, Amar’e averaged 20pts, 9rebs.
    what has Nash done without Amare?!!? NOTHING.

    there are two elements to this topic. what is Amare without Nash and what is Nash without Amare.
    ..and Amare has a better track record without Nash than Nash has without him. in fact, Nash has led the league in turnover 3 times in the last 5yrs and avgs about 4 turnovers a game; not bad, but from the way he plays, Nash would avg 7 TOs a game if it werent for Amare, Marion and all them boys.

  • Heckler

    the one year Steve Nash played like a whole season without Amare, he got MVP.

    but it was Shawn Marion who led Phoenix in: points, rebounds, steals, blocks, minutes and FT attempts

  • Mike “Patheti” Mihalow

    Was this before, or after, Amar’e invented the wheel?

  • Qrentis

    @heckler

    Nash and kg are two totally diff players..
    Its stupid to compare kg goin to the celtics and goin to the suns

  • Qrentis

    @heckler

    Nash and kg are two totally diff players..
    Its stupid to compare kg goin to the celtics and nash goin to the suns

  • WinDelRoj

    I dont disagree with his assesment. I mean look at what happened there after… what did them in was just going up against bigger, badder teams. They were a few (non)suspensions short of a championship.
    Ironically the one who coulda stepped up to get the ring was him (but who wants to play defense anymore)

  • Heckler

    @ qrentis–

    KG is stinkiing it up in Minnesota for his (first) $126 million contract price tag. cant get out of the 1st round. then, you give him sam cassell and latrell sprewell…and next thing you know, MVP of the league and the Wolves have the leagues best record.

    Steve Nash is doing just (barely) above average in dallas. he signs with the Suns and gets quentin richardson, amare stoudemire, joe johnson and shawn marion. …and next thing you know, MVP of the league and the Suns have the leagues best record.

    ahem….
    you might want to retract your comment about saying its stupid to compare KG and Steve Nash (and I didnt even have to mention KG joining the Celts).

    like i said, on their own, they aint much of shit. glorified role players. put them with some talent, and thats the only way they shine. dont be afraid to call a spade a spade just because you like the card. it is what it is…

  • RC

    I’d take Nash too. Nash took the Suns far deep into the playoffs a lot of times and almost won it.

    Although I gotta admit if Kobe played with Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion (in his prime), Joe Johnson. That might give them a championship.

    But then who’s gonna run the point at that time? Barbosa? The guy who doesnt know how to control even his own tempo, he only goes full speed and nothing else.

  • Sip

    It’s interesting because this discussion board is getting both more ridiculous and more complicated.

    The first thing that needs to be said (and a few of you have touched on it) is that Kobe Bryant never would have gone to the Suns. The reason this article matters is that even at that age, Amare would say “I want Steve Nash on my team ahead of Kobe Bryant.” This almost certainly means that Amare wanted to be the best player on his team, and he knew that wouldn’t be the case if Kobe joined the team. It doesn’t matter what position you need: like others have said, when you get Kobe, you get the best player in the league.

    All that being said, Nash was (and still continues to be) a perfect fit for the Suns. He’s the most creative point guard in the league, he’s a dead-eye shooter from both the foul line and 3-point line, and there’s no one more fun to play with. It must be pointed out that he struggles on defense. But realistically, when you’re asking a guy to play as hard as he does on one end, to constantly create offense in a system that depends on outscoring the other team, not stopping them, his defensive issues matter less.

    The problem wasn’t Nash, and let’s remember the Suns had their way with the Lakers in the playoffs before Jerry West gift-wrapped Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies. The problem was the Suns’ management, you know, like the kind that would ask Amare who he wants between Kidd, Nash, and Bryant, all of whom were at very different points in their career and only 2 of whom were possible to sign. Do you really think Sarver would have signed Kobe even if he could? He’s at least partially to blame for not keeping Joe Johnson, he didn’t sign Garnett when he could have, then he traded the team’s best defensive player and a cornerstone of their playoff run for an aging, slow, lifeless Shaq O’Neal. And this summer he wouldn’t sign Amare over little more than 5 million dollars. The fact that the Suns never made it to the Finals has little to do with Nash and Amare, and more to do with the other guys that could have been playing with them.

  • http://juanm.garcia@comcast.net Mayan Mike

    Of coarse he wouldn’t want him. When has Amare been about championships? Nuff said.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @ Heckler

    No way! Amar’e was 1000% better with Nash.

    @ Andrew

    That’s not out of context. That’s exactly what he said!

    @ Sip

    Exactly.

  • K Dizzle

    Sip droppin knowledge…

  • mytiman

    Kobe didn’t need him either. He has 5 rings.

  • douglalr

    what’s the debate about…best way to see if amare was right was to wait and c…well we did wait…kobe 3 finals appearances, 2 finals mvp, 2 rings proves he was wrong…Jordan won without a stellar point guard, so did the lakers…in fact u have to look long and hard to find a championship team with its pg as its best player…straight shooter…yes…dumb move…also yes

  • JAY

    @Heckler
    Put it this way, everybody who has played with Nash in the system he’s comfortable running, they always end up playing better than without him. Not just the individuals, the team as a whole plays better.

    I guess we’ll see this season who is better without the other. Amare playing with a mediocre point guard, or Nash, playing with the Expendables.

    I’m inclined to think Nash averages close to his norm. For some reason i think David Lee’s numbers as a Knick will be better than Amare’s.

    And why are you bringing up Amare’s rebounds, like Nash has an effect on that. Next thing you know you’ll start talking about Amare averaging more steals so Nash didn’t affect that aspect of his game. Come on, bro. The only stats that Nash has a direct influence over is Amare’s scoring average and even moreso, his shooting percentage since it’s an indication of the quality shots he took w/ Nash. Look at how much that stat improve with Nash. Nash makes the game easier for everyone.

  • http://None NYC

    It’s funny Amare gets knocked here by some Kobe/LA fans, etc. for not selecting Kobe and presumptively not being the man on the Suns if he did select him (though Joe Johnson would of made a nice wing to play with him and Nash).

    But Lebron gets killed by many on here, for deciding to play with a equally as good player in Dwayne Wade and a top 12 one in Bosh? Mmmmhh?

    The current memo is, Lebron will be reducing his scoring, but increasing his chances for a championship, but he’s also a “punk”, “coward”, no longer “air to the throne” and a virtual son of god for that decision he made to win championships with a superior player.

    Go Figure!!

  • http://twitter.com/Chris_Barrio C Money

    WTF IS THIS BS?

  • Kyle

    Amare wanted to play with a true point guard, and I remember that he and the GM went and had dinner with Nash to get him to sign with Phoenix instead of Dallas. Few players get better when Nash leaves or when they leave Nash. Van Exel disappeared, Finley was old(and a ballhog at times so can’t count him), LaFrentz went from a decent 3 point shooting center to a bum, Marion couldn’t hit a 3 or rebound anymore, Tim Thomas was brought back from the dead for a huge contract… who are the others? Jim Jackson was part of their 7 man rotation, and he hit big shots with Nash. Only Dirk got better without Nash which is odd since their games go so well together. Oh, and Joe Johnson(but he said he realized how hard it is without playing with Nash.)

    Oh, there are also guys like Diaw, Raja Bell who aren’t half the player(injury or not)with Nash.

    I believe STAT said we need a point guard, Marbury is a ballhog who will never pass, and Nash with all of the young runners and gunners will make this a playoff team. Oh, and he understands the pick and roll as well as Malone and Dirk. Where is Q-Rich? Wasn’t he good with the Suns?

  • showtimeizback

    In hindsight, if you look at whats happened to Pau Gasol since he has joined Kobe, it kinda makes it clear that playing with Kobe may not have taken as much away from Amare as he would think.

    Number 1, Kobe was never really selfish, i would shoot the ball 25 times a game too if i had walton, smush, cook, odom and Kwame “hands” brown to pass to. People consider Pau Gasol to be the best big man in the league. He has improved dramatically from the time he got here to where he is now. All i byproduct of playing with Kobe.

    I think the real issue is where Gasol is a willing and eager student to learn from kobe and work equally as hard in practice and on both ends of the court, Amare isnt.

    Now, Amare has been quoted saying Kobe is the best player in the league, its not like he didnt respect his game. For him, it was more about stats i suppose.