From once donning the orange and purple to now the orange and blue, Friday marks Suns fans’ first opportunity to see Amar’e Stoudemire’s return to the site of some of his biggest NBA accomplishments, as the Suns host the Knicks at US Airways Center.

Likewise, just months after going free agent and landing in the Big Apple, the Suns’ fourth-best all-time scorer (21.4 ppg) and 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year also gets his first look at his old team.

“He’s a great player,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “Nobody’s ever questioned that. He was a great player for the (seven-plus) years he was here. They are playing great basketball and obviously Amar’e is the focal point. Looking over the course of his career, it doesn’t surprise me what he’s doing in New York at all.

“He’s embraced the role of what he has (there). That’s his team, and that’s something he’s always wanted. He’s shown the leadership and the ability to carry a team, and he’s put them in the position to make them a playoff team.”

As for some inside info on knowing the All-Star forward’s “tells” out on the court, Gentry admitted his past coaching history won’t ensure anything for the Suns come tip off against his former player. 

“You think people who know Peyton Manning, that works in their favor well?” Gentry asked.  “If you’re a great player, you’re a great player. STAT’s played against some really great teams and still gotten his numbers. To think you’ll just shut him down, that won’t happen.”

Leading the Knicks with 26.4 ppg in his first season in New York, Gentry had no shortage of complements for Stoudemire with one small caveat.

“He did a great job as a tri-captain here last year,” said the Suns’ head coach. “As a player, he’s done great things here. I’m happy for him and I hope he wins every game… except the two he plays against us.”

  • JAS

    Amare is a very good player. He is not however a superstar and unless New York gives him some help (Carmello) the Big Apple will be feeling the thrill of some victories and the agony of no championship. Welcome to our world Knick fans.

  • drew

    I’m a Steve nash fan, i think he’s one of the greatest pionts! Just like in the past when Kevin Garnett played with the Timberwolves, they never were going to get a ring, just like in the next three years Phoenix not goin to get a rain. Let Steve go, he got a better show with the Knicks! Maybe we coukld pick up raymond Felton and a couple of other player, let Steve go, we owe it to him!

  • JAS

    Not so entertaining anymore are we fellow Suns fans? Oh how the novelty has worn thin as our team continues to play it’s usual no defense style. Now we have added no running, worse rebounding and forget scoring over 100. This season and our boys have gone from being in a deep hole to actually jumping in and after the last 5 games throw the dirt over us, were dead.

  • JAS

    Can it get any worse? Now we have former Suns coach D’Antoni pitying us fans and it’s full front of our sports page. Thanks Mike for letting us know we can bounce back. You better save some of that pity for Knick fans cause if you don’t get Mello neither Amare, the 12 second shot or less offense or your brilliant defensive genius is saving you. Your in the Big Apple now, not Phoenix, they won’t give you half the time we did. I hope you sprang for the check when you and Gentry had dinner, it’s the least you could do seeing as how your team put a few more greys on our owners head. What did you talk about, how D’Antoni can get Nash for nothing to? Hey! Do the Knicks have any 1st rd picks left?