Amare Stoudemire gave a strong interview this morning on Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf show. Listen:
While not thrilled with his choice of words, Amare made his point loud and clear when asked if his current level of play is a "contract year" effect. I would caution anyone to avoid nit-picking his syntax. Amare is one of the league's "good guys" and certainly (I am very confident in saying) didn't mean any offense by using a derogatory term.
At the same time, he emphatically denies that allegation and backs it up with his history as a player.
Wolf asks, what do you say to those people who are saying you are playing the way you are playing just to get the Max Contract and then you will just relax. What do you say to those people?
"I would say they're simply retarded and that they haven't been watching my career at all since I've been in the league."
"I've been improving every single year even after the all-star break I've been improving so if they think I am just playing for a contract they are out of their minds."
Other interesting responses....
First choice to stay a Sun?
"It's always great to stay"
Do you agree that Mike D'Antoni not emphasizing defense set you back:
"I think so. With us not really focused defensively and not teaching defense a lot of the finger pointing was towards me saying that I wasn't a good defensive player but I just was never taught defensive strategy so it really was kind of unfair to put the blame on me. I think over time, it shows now that we are a better defensive team, we got guys that can play defense and my defense is not really that bad."
Do you enjoy this brand of basketball more than D'Antoni seven seconds or less?
"With this offense we are not just going to shoot any shots, we're not going to shot bad shots. We're to make sure we get quality shots. We're going to make sure we get good looks at the basket. Sometimes in Seven Seconds or Less you shoot up a couple of shots and you get in the habit of shooting bad shots and kind of bits you sometimes in the playoffs. In this offense we are more humble out there. We know what's good shots and when to take them."
Dunk on Tolliver. Best dunk of career?
"It felt like it. It feels like you're flying like you are in the air flying for a certain amount of time. Once you finish over the top of him in that sense it's more like power vs power, man vs man. Just being a man you want to out-power the next guy like arm-wrestling. Once you finish over the top of him just that action, that fury comes out and it's a great feeling."