wpid-i_00_f8_23_amare-stoudemire.jpg
Stoudemire just did not feel the same love back in the past two offseasons, when he hoped to return to the Suns to close his career. That prompted him to reach out to New York this month for a ceremonial contract with a “Once a Knick, Always a Knick” quotation to cap his 14-year career. “The last two years, we made phone calls to Phoenix but I wasn’t getting any positive response,” Stoudemire told azcentral sports on Thursday. “That would’ve been the perfect way to go out. I didn’t want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places – Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted.”
Storyline: Amare Stoudemire Retirement
Watson was considering coaching at the time of his brother’s passing, but wasn’t quite ready to retire from playing in the NBA. His impressive list of NBA head coaches included Hubie Brown, George Karl, Jerry Sloan and Terry Stotts, and he also spent a lot of time with the late UCLA legendary coach John Wooden. Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird first put the coaching bug in Watson’s ear when he was playing there. Dwayne Hooks also believed his brother could be a great coach and constantly encouraged him to retire to focus on the new career.
i_f0_83_14_earl_watson.jpg
The hope was rather to improve the team’s attitude. And when the 2015-16 season concluded, the players’ attitude toward Watson was extremely positive. Several told Suns management before and during their exit meetings that they hoped he was retained . “What he inherited is maybe one of the toughest situations that any coach has had to inherit,” Suns center Tyson Chandler told The Undefeated toward the end of last season. “What he has done is taking these young guys and put their focus in the right way. I love what he is doing. I love the way he approaches it. “As just as serious as he was on the court, there is just as much passion [coaching]. His knowledge for the game is actually what I thought he would have been as a young coach. His leading ability … Young guys are usually feeling themselves out. But he surprised me.”