Amare voted All-Star starter …. seriously?

Am I really starting?

Am I really starting?

Amare Stoudemire is an All-Star starter, and is it so hard to believe?

It sure feels strange with the way some people think the Suns would be better off dealing away their All-Star starter and rebuilding, but let’s not forget Amare has been a reliable scorer even if his rebounding has been, well, not exactly reliable.

Plus, Amare played his first two months of the season at an All-Star level, averaging 22 and 8.5 before dropping down to 19.9 and 6.2.

Let’s just not get into his help defense.

Clearly the voters weren’t paying attention to Amare’s rebounding numbers during the final month of voting, as he’s recorded double-digit rebounds just once in 10 January games and is starting to be outboarded by the rebounding machine known as Steve Nash.

His last eight rebounding games go like this: 5, 7, 5, 8, 7, 6, 1, 4.

Amare has now made the All-Star team in four consecutive years not counting the year he was hurt, and he becomes the first Suns big to start the game since Barkley in 1996.

Amare’s come-from-behind win over Carmelo no question represents a victory for viral marketing. STAT’s Web site and YouTube videos featuring everyone from George Washington to Barack Obama to Shaq cardboard cutouts extolling his virtues clearly were hits with the voting fans.

Plus, we learned that billboards in China result in more votes than Dirk Nowitzki’s popularity in Germany, as Dirk finished a distant sixth behind Bruce Bowen, Ron Artest and Carmelo despite probably being most deserving according to the numbers.

Honestly, I think this selection could be the best thing that ever happens to the man known as STAT and the Suns.

Now that he’s being recognized as an All-Star starter with the LeBrons, D-Wades and Dwights of the world like he so badly wanted, maybe he’ll be impelled to give the kind of consistent effort those guys do each and every night.

Or so Suns fans can hope.

I don’t think it’s time for the Suns to give up on Stoudemire or give up on this season by dealing him; I still think Steve Kerr needs to give this team at least one year to gel.

And if Amare puts half the effort into rebounding and defending as he did into marketing himself for a starting role in the All-Star Game, he might be able to earn a spot next year without the benefit of even a single YouTube video.


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