It might not be hyperbole to say that no player in NBA history ever benefited as much from playing alongside another player as Amar’e Stoudemire did playing alongside Steve Nash. The hyper-athletic power forward put up gaudy numbers with the Suns, all alongside floor master Nash.
Stoudemire was drafted ninth overall in 2002 straight out of high school, and was an instant sensation on the court. He put up 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game alongside Shawn Marion and Stephon Marbury, winning NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003. He continued to put up solid numbers on middle-of-the-pack Suns teams until the organization brought back Nash in 2004.
That following season, Stoudemire ascended to a new level, putting up 26 points per game on elite efficiency. Nash’s ability to manipulate a defense opened up seams that Stoudemire absolutely terrorized. His ability to score inside was so good that teams would try to double him, leading to Nash finding an open shooter. The pairing created one of the greatest offensive stretches the league has ever seen.
Stoudemire played eight seasons with the Suns, averaging 21.4 points per game, good for fourth all-time in franchise history. He ranks third in total rebounds, blocks and free throws made. Five times he made the NBA All-Star team. Four times he was named to the All-NBA team at season’s end, including the First Team in 2007. His 67.9 franchise win shares is fifth all-time.
In 2010, Stoudemire exercised his right as an unrestricted free agent and left for the New York Knicks, where injuries and an inconsistent supporting cast led to the downswing of his NBA career. After brief stints with the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat, Stoudemire is now playing overseas in Israel, where he has become something of a star over there.