Well, I must first preface this post by saying that this was written to ease my soul as a Suns fan and bring me closure, so it may not necessarily apply to you. I am not ashamed to say that I adored Amare Stoudemire. I loved his high flying facial dunks, I loved his ability to outquick other bigs, I loved the way he could dominate a game when he was on, and I even loved his quirky and somewhat ridiculous comments he routinely made. I didn’t even mind too badly when he had his occasional lapses on defense or even when he let guys without half his athletic ability out-rebound him.
When I truly realized he was gone, there became a gaping sucking chest wound where STAT used to be. Within the last several days, I’ve had to remove my STAT screen saver, sell my STAT jersey on eBay, get rid of a whole gaggle of assorted Amare Stoudemire paraphernalia, in addition to defending Stoudemire a whole lot here on the BSOTS forum. While the whole process was somewhat depressing, through it all I have regained my sense of self as a Suns fan. It also brought a few things back to my remembrance.
One thing that struck me as I watched Amare’s free agent agreement with the Knicks unfold, is that though the Suns may suffer a loss of personnel, but the team always soldiers on. During my 30 plus years of watching the team, I cannot recall losing us losing a player (with the possible exceptions of Larry Nance and Jason Kidd) and significantly suffering the next year. Even after losing Charles Barkley in 1996, we still managed to find a way to make the playoffs.
The first significant hurtful loss I can really remember was in 1981 when the Suns traded away Paul Westphal to the Supersonics for Dennis Johnson. It hurt a lot as I loved Westphal as a person and as a player, however, we captured our first division title the next season with a record of 57-25. My tears of 1981 became the joy of 1982. That has been forever etched in my memory…We may suffer losses of personnel…Sometimes traumatic ones (ala Wesphal, Jeff Hornacek & Majerle), but we have always recovered.
Through it all, I have learned to love and appreciate being a Suns fans so much more. Through the good times (1992/1993 & 2004/2005), the bad times (1985/1986 & 2001/2002) and even the ugly stuff (drug scandal of 1987), I have loved the Suns. Even though the Suns have had some great players, the Suns are more than the players that they have. This is the team that has preserved this heart and dedication for so many years without a championship, in a so-call “small-market.” It’s the team that we love and root for, no matter what. STAT may be gone, our front office situation may be disjointed, but the Suns will to win and my will for the team to win hasn't wavered. I believe we make the playoffs next year and we are a force in 2011/2012.
The Suns will rise again…!!!!!