Saturday , Sep , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Amar’e Stoudemire wanted Steve Nash not ‘selfish’ Kobe

“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).”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Point guards are important, but damn.

In a recent interview, Amar’e Stoudemire claimed he told the Phoenix Suns to sign pass-first table-setter Steve Nash instead of the world’s best player in Kobe Bryant.

Yes, Nash not Kobe. After all, Kobe had a ‘reputation for being selfish’.

Let me disclose my bias: I’m a huge Kid Canada fan. He’s a two-time MVP, a Hall of Fame playmaker (yeah, I went there), and a terrific person. Oh, and those vitamin spots are pretty funny, too

He has limitations, though. While willing to mix it up in his own end, Nash’s size hinders his ability to defend. And his offensive numbers are inflated by the Suns’ run-and-gun system.

Whatever your view on Nash, he isn’t Kobe Bryant. It’s not close. It’s not debateable. Black Mamba is the premier player in the NBA, winning consecutive championships for a career total of five Larry O’Brien trophies.

Sure, Nash’s passing makes those around him better; however, Bryant’s competitiveness and work ethic forces teammates to ratchet up their production. Call it peer pressure for the millionaire baller.

For instance, Luke Walton recently mentioned he was rehabbing his many injuries at the Lakers’ practice facility. Guess what player is first to show every morning at 7am? That’s right: Kobe.        

Now Bryant could have scaled things back this summer or simply hung a ‘gone fishing sign’ until training camp. No coach, executive, journalist, or fan would have said a word.

Of course, he didn’t go on vacation. Instead of slacking, Bryant is punching the clock and working harder than, perhaps, any player in the league. Such single-mindedness is Bryant’s trademark.

To be fair, Bryant probably wouldn’t have turned his back on the Lakers and signed with the Suns. It doesn’t change that Stoudemire’s analysis was, and still is, wrong.    

–Oly Sandor.

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