Why is Amar’e Stoudemire not in the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor?

Amar'e Stoudemire Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Amar'e Stoudemire Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Amar’e Stoudemire was one of the best players on one of the Phoenix Suns best teams. It is time he join the other greats in the Suns’ Ring of Honor.

The Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor is a club for all of the Suns greats once they retire. Big names such as Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, and Steve Nash stand out of the 10 players that have been inducted. As every season passes, I wonder why Amar’e Stoudemire has not yet been announced as the newest member of the prestigious Ring Of Honor.

Phoenix took a chance with the 9th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft on a 6’10” power forward straight out of high school. In high school, Stoudemire averaged 25.5 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in his only two seasons.

His strengths transitioned to the NBA quickly. From his high athleticism to his ability to dominate inside, Amar’e quickly became a force in the NBA. Stoudemire had an incredible rookie campaign, winning Rookie of the Year, averaging 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds in 82 games played.

After the Phoenix Suns won 44 games his rookie year, Stoudemire got an early taste of the NBA playoffs. However, he matched up against extremely tough Spurs and their future Hall of Famers, Tim Duncan, and David Robinson.

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Scoring did not come easy against the Spurs legendary frontcourt; Duncan and Robinson had combined for 14 NBA All-Defensive teams at that point. Stoudemire held his own in the six-game series, averaging 14.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds, and even 1.5 blocks per game.

The Suns ended up losing the series 4-2. Nevertheless, the young forward showed he had a game made for the Playoffs.

Playing eight out of his 14 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Stoudemire left behind a legacy. During free agency in 2004, the Suns signed Steve Nash, a future two-time MVP, and the perfect pick-and-roll partner for Amar’e. His first season beside Nash, Stoudemire put up a career-high 26 points per game on almost 56% from the field. Playing with Nash was probably the best thing to ever happen to Amar’e in his NBA career. Nash was an elite pass-first point guard with nearly double-digit assists every game. The dynamic duo played in nine playoff series together, compiling a series record of 5-4 in the postseason.

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In Suns history, Amar’e ranks 3rd on the all-time Suns rebounding list, 5th in blocks, and 6th in scoring. A career average of 21.39 points per game makes him at 5th all-time in this category for the Suns.

Another impressive stat for STAT is being 2nd in all-time in Suns player efficiency rating with 22.6. Making five All-Star games, plus four All-NBA teams, you start to wonder why the Suns have not yet inducted one of their franchise’s best players.

Stoudemire played what would end up being his final NBA season with the Miami Heat during the 2015-2016 season. At the start of the 2016 free agency, reports came out that Stoudemire wanted to sign a 1 year deal with the Suns, and then retire at the end of the season. The rumor quickly hit the internet, however, the Suns declined his offer.

Presumably feeling hurt and betrayed by the franchise that already let him walk during 2010 free agency, Stoudemire signed a 1 day deal with New York and retired with the Knicks. You could say the Suns may want to wait a few seasons to induct Stoudemire, but Nash joined the Ring of Honor after only one season of being retired. This will now be the 4th season since Amar’e Stoudemire retired.

With the two seemingly negative free agency negotiations, the relationship between Suns owner, Robert Sarver, and Stoudemire may be strained. However, you could look at Stoudemire being invited to and appearing at the Suns 2000s decade night during the 2017-2018 season as a sign the two are on good terms.

I personally would love to see Amar’e Stoudemire inducted into the Ring Of Honor, growing up watching him play in the 7-seconds-or-less era and seeing the impact he had on this franchise, makes the decision easy to me.

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Hopefully, in the near future, we get the long-awaited announcement, which will be a game I would be sure to attend.