Monday August 7, 2006 3:52 am
Do Not Draft Amare Stoudemire!
Okay, some of you are probably still infatuated with what Stoudemire did during the 2004-2005 season and it’s nothing to sneeze at - 26.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.0 spg, 1.6 bpg, 55.9 FG%, and a big man that can actually shoot free throws, my word, at a 73.3% clip! And on top of all those very good numbers, Stoudemire was center eligible! That in itself elevates his value a great deal! But, did you read the subject line? I’m sure you did. What does it say? That’s right… despite all that good stuff during the aforementioned season, do not draft Amare Stoudemire.
I know, I’m crazy, right? And I’m sure I’m going to hear from all the Suns fans, but I’m telling you, listen to Uncle Dennis, Amare will not be worth where he gets drafted and we all know that some guy (the proverbial that guy; don’t be him, I implore you) will take him in the first or second round.
I guess I should tell you that I’m pretty much a sissy-boy when it comes to taking chances when I draft. I won’t touch Tracy McGrady, in a fantasy draft or in real life. I won’t touch Andrei Kirilenko, either. Besides, I’m sure he wouldn’t waste his wife’s “get out of jail card” on a dude… yeah, references to his wife’s one free night with another woman will NEVER die. At least not for us guys. But, I will have to say, AK-47 is as tempting as a night with Paris Hilton - you know you’ll get some (as in get excellent stats across the board), but you’ll have to deal with potential diseases (as in potential injuries). It’s tough, but you have to think with the head that’s on shoulders and not the one down by the family jewels.
And that’s what I’ll be doing when it comes to Amare Stoudemire.
He was working with the U.S. national team, gearing up for the World Championships in Japan later this month. He was recently cut from the team that will officially compete in order to continue his rehab and to be back here in the States for his child’s birth. Before that, Stoudemire was doing it up in the summer league. While, for all intents and purposes Stoudemire did well, he didn’t do “Amare-well” as he is still trying to get his timing and explosion back. Let’s not forget that Stoudemire missed most of the season because of a serious knee injury, stupidly came back early (okay, I’ll admit this is a hindsight comment), which required another surgery back in April. Hey, guess what bodypart gets a lot of the punishment from a basketball player that runs and jumps a lot, especially a player such as Amare Stoudemire?
Yeah, the knees.
That said, I’ll be positive now. Stoudemire doesn’t turn 24 years old until this November… dang, I feel old… so he definitely has youth on his side to turn things around. And from what I’ve heard and read, since Stoudemire couldn’t count 100 percent on his athleticism, speed, and raw power, he actually worked on the more technical aspects of the game. Excellent. Kudos, big fella!
But, I’m still not drafting you in the first, second, or even third round.
If you’re in a redraft league, I don’t think it’ll be a good idea to tab Amare Stoudemire as one of your top guys for this season. Let the following be someone else’s headache - Stoudemire’s injury woes, Shawn Marion’s game elevation (oh, yes - you will know about my Marion Man Love… and Shaun Livingston Love as well), Boris Diaw’s even better elevation of his game, especially down in the post, and the fact that Stoudemire will have to get back into game shape, physically and mentally, as well as get his timing down after basically a whole season off.
Now, I’m not totally dumb. I know that Stoudemire is just too gifted off a player to suck for a whole season. But I’m think it’s going to be more the case that Stoudemire gets to be his old self again to help the Phoenix Suns team win a title as opposed to your fantasy team winning a title. That is to say, that the “old” Stoudemire will rock the rim during the real playoffs, which does nothing for us fantasy geeks.
And while I fell in love with Stoudemire, just like everyone else, on this highlight dunk pictured above, you won’t be seeing too many “in yo grill” dunks like that for some time from Stoudemire. In fact, if he tried to do that again right now on Michael Olowokndi, Stoudemire would probably get rejected.
Oh, who am I kidding? Amare isn’t that bad. Just don’t draft him in the early rounds. You’ll thank me later.
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