Five hundred and fifty days still remain before the much-awaited summer of 2010 commences, but I still found an article concerning Amare and that summer waiting for me at the breakfast table in my Arizona Republic this morning.
It almost feels like in Cleveland (LeBron), Miami (Wade), Toronto (Bosh), Phoenix and maybe a few other markets it’s going to become a daily update type of thing next year.
I mean 550 days away, Amare makes a remark that really says nothing, and it’s leading the Republic’s sports Web site as I type this.
Here’s what STAT said:
“Everywhere I go, from New York to LA, they’re all saying, ‘Come here,’ ‘Come to LA,’ ‘Come to New York,’ ‘We want you here,’ ‘We want you there.’
“But I like it here in Phoenix. Phoenix is a beautiful city. I’ve grown here, and my family has as well. Hopefully I can remain here, but only the future can tell.
“Right now I’ve got a Phoenix Suns jersey, and that’s where my loyalty is.”
He went on to add,
“That’d be beautiful to play with one team for my whole career. That’d be ideal, but only the future can tell.”
Amare has spent all seven of his seasons in Phoenix, and we never heard anything about him wanting to leave before talk of this free-agent bonanza started, so of course we know he likes it in the Valley.
The one positive Suns fans can take from these quotes is that he certainly appears open to staying if Phoenix offers him the max extension, which it should, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a hometown discount.
In any case, at least it seems like he won’t let his 2010 infatuation affect his play in 2008-09, but I also wouldn’t hold my breath about that if some issue (playing time, losing, no extension offer next summer) changes his tune.
As I’ve stated before, I think there’s no question the Suns would be best off rebuilding around Amare in two years, so let’s hope he’s offered and signs that extension this offseason.