Happy Trails, Amar’e

Amar’e Stoudemire announced yesterday that he was retiring. And I have to say I’m shocked.

Not that he’s retiring now, but that he’s retiring at the age of 33.

Seriously? Didn’t this guy play like 20 years in the Association?

When he was good, he was great. A 6-time All-Star, a 6’10 terror, and a serial soul-stealer when it came to dunks.

The only sad part of his career was that it came too early – too early for Twitter. Because if Twitter had been around when Amar’e was wrecking rims and wrecking lives, the LOL’s, SMH’s, and photoshops would’ve been incredible.

And yes, he was a different cat. Who else do you know who bathes in wine? But if you only know him for soaking in merlot and punching that fire extinguisher, then fire up YouTube.

Actually, clear your schedule because TBT is coming a day early and you’re going to go down a rabbit hole of dunks that you might never come out of.

And just like every horror film has essentially the same plot, these YouTube fright fests usually start with Amar’e working the pick-and-roll with Steve Nash or Steph Marbury, getting the ball at the top of the key and then some helpless victim shaking his head after it’s all over. Just ask Richard Jefferson.

 

That’s just filthy. Richard Jefferson is a very nice guy, but that was a very bad thing that just happened to him.

6’10, 245, the perfect combination of explosiveness and power. And it wasn’t just RJ. It was everyone.

You can come up with a great list of Top Ten Dunks by Amare, but really the list is just about two. The first one needs no introduction, just a name: Michael Olowokandi.

 

If he’s 33 now, how old was he when he did that to Mike? 12? Either way, I know that Olowokandi should’ve retired right on the spot.

Then again, Amar’e is one of just two players in NBA history to go straight from high school to win the Rookie of the Year. Think about that – one year you’re posting up sophomores, the next you’re posturizing the Candy Man… the number one pick in the entire draft. Granted it was a Clippers pick, at a time when they would routinely waste the number one pick in the draft, but he was the number one guy overall, nonetheless.

But that isn’t even his greatest dunk and the Candy Man isn’t even his most legendary victim. That honor goes to Anthony Tolliver. Who’s Anthony Tolliver? He’s the guy who was on the wrong end of this.

“That WAS savage!” It’s a good thing Twitter wasn’t around, because he would’ve broken it into a thousand tiny pieces.

In fact, I’m pretty sure someone posted that video on MySpace and it never recovered. Happy trails, Amar’e.

When you were good, you were great.

And when you were weird, you were the weirdest. And it was great. Posturizing fools, punishing fire extinguishers and bathing in wine.

Amare’s barely gone and I already miss him.

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