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Stoudemire suggested the Suns get Steve Nash over Kobe Bryant

Sep 2, 2010, 4:24 PM EST

stoudemire_nash.jpgRight now, everybody wants to play with Kobe Bryant. He’s winning; he’s assumed that “veteran who can lead” mantle (although he likes Derek Fisher around to play good cop to his bad cop).

A few years back, say the summer of 2004, that was not the case. That was the summer that Kobe was a free agent and debating leaving the Lakers (so Jerry Buss shipped Shaq out to Miami). Steve Nash and Jason Kidd were free agents as well.

Amare Stoudemire was the up and coming star in Phoenix, and management came to him asking what he wanted, Stoudemire told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

“The question ownership asked to me was, ‘Who do I want – Jason Kidd, Steve Nash or Kobe Bryant?’ I said Steve. Over Kobe. At the time, Kobe had a reputation for being selfish and Steve was the ultimate point guard. I felt like that’s what we needed. We had Joe Johnson and Shawn Marion. We just didn’t have a PG to control tempo. Kidd was banged up after microfracture (knee surgery).”

Questions history will never know the answer to include what Kobe would have looked like in Mike D’Antoni’s system.

But the D’Antoni experiment in New York has shown us that his system is dependant on having a really good point guard. Kobe and Amare and Johnson and Marion would have flown up and down the court, but as Stoudemire says who is controlling the tempo? Who is the guy driving the car?

Seems crazy on the surface to choose Nash over Bryant, but for that team at that time it was the right call. Stoudemire saw it. (You can also wonder if Bryant really would have left the Lakers for the Suns, while Mark Cuban let Nash go.)

Which might bode well for the rebuilding going on in New York and the role Stoudemire will play in it.

  1. Cannon510 - Sep 2, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Not that it would have happened. But Kurt, do you really think it was the right call for Phoenix at the time?
    Care to provide a little explanation for that opinion? It’s not like Phoenix ever reached the Finals or won a ring. Steve Nash is great at running a fast paced offensive but he can’t orchestrate a half court set or play any resemblance of defense.
    Wouldn’t you agree that having Kobe Bryant run your team is probably better than Chris Duhon? Kobe is a gifted passer and played the initiator role in the Triangle Offense.
    I really thought Amar”e””” was destined for greatness after the 2005 playoff series again San Antonio. But now, I think he’ll probably end up having a more disappointing career than Chris Webber.

  2. the foo Dave - Sep 2, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    I don’t know what Amare is talking about… Didn’t he say he the kobe was the best player in the league? Wouldn’t you want the best player in your team to play with you??? I wonder how woould kobe stats look like if he wasn’t in the triangle offense…..

  3. HoopsFanMike - Sep 2, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    “Seems crazy on the surface to choose Nash over Bryant, but for that team at that time it was the right call. Stoudemire saw it.”
    Oh, he saw it alright. Yeah. Zero titles for Nash/Stoudamire. 2 titles (since then) for Kobe.
    Of course a big-man would choose a distributor like Nash over a swingman like Kobe. Especially though, an alpha-male, skilled offensive player like Kobe, that would not only take away touches from Amar’e, but also a lot of the spotlight and attention.
    The fact is, Steve Nash was a free-agent that offseason, and Shaq was too, and the Dallas Mavericks were desperately seeking to make a trade with L.A. They were going to package Nowitzki and do a sign-and-trade for Nash to the Lakers for Shaq, but Mitch Kupchak turned them down. I still contend that if the Lakers had made that trade – giving them the players that would win the next 3 MVP awards – they would have won more than the 2 titles they have won since then. We will never know, but Mitch stating that nothing on the Mavericks was desirable to the Lakers was one of the biggest mistakes he made as GM. Fortunately for him, he stumbled across a desperate Memphis Grizzly team that was looking to unload their high paid star in Pau Gasol, and had seen enough of his brother Marc growing up that they ‘gave’ Pau to L.A….

  4. Jersey Shore - Sep 3, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    LOooooool since when did Kobe ever consider going to the Suns? Get real, a player like Kobe is out of the Suns league. Amare’s full of it!!!

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