PHOENIX – When Steve Nash became a free agent in the summer of 2004, several high-level members of the Phoenix Suns descended upon Dallas to try and convince the mercurial point guard to take his talents to the Valley of the Suns.
Amar’e Stoudemire was in that group.
When the recruitment of Nash was over, it was a relief to Stoudemire that the feisty little man from Canada would decide to leave the Dallas Mavericks and join forces with Stoudemire in Phoenix.
"It was a dream come true,’’ Stoudemire said. "When I went to recruit Nash in Dallas I didn’t know what to expect.
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"I knew he was a great point guard, but we excelled. We truly took on the league by storm and we had fun doing it, so it was great.’’
Stoudemire and Nash were teammates with the Suns from 2004 until he left via free agency in 2010 to play for the New York Knicks. They went through some of the best years the Suns ever had together,
Thus, when Nash announced his retirement from the NBA this past Saturday, Stoudemire reflected on all the pick-and-rolls and how the Suns impacted the NBA with their high octane offensive explosions which consisted of shooting the ball in seven seconds or less.
"We definitely changed the game for sure,’’ said Stoudemire, who now plays for the Mavs. "Now teams have stretch (power forwards) and stretch (centers), and they play pick-and-roll basketball and they get active and they move the ball.
"I think it started with Nash and the way he played and it was contagious with the rest of us.’’