I spoke to Steve Kerr Tuesday for the fourth time since October and for the fourth time I did what I had to do: Ask the former Suns GM and current TNT analyst about his former star, Amar’e Stoudemire.
I explained to Kerr - who was in town promoting the new CBS/Turner partnership for the NCAA Tournament - that it’s a New York City law, and he graciously accommodated me.
“Nothing has surprised me in terms of how he’s performed,’’ Kerr said. “I’ve known Amar’e now for years and he’s a favorite of mine just because of the way he’s grown up and matured and handled himself. Last year his leadership with the Suns was critical to our success.
“He’s just embraced this whole New York lifestyle and the glamour and the spotlight.’’
What about adjusting to sharing the spotlight with Carmelo Anthony?
“Unlike LeBron [James] and [Dwyane] Wade, Amar’e always had a superstar next to him. He played next to [Steve] Nash for years,’’ Kerr said.
“He understands not only the dynamic of having two stars but the importance of it.
“So he embraces Carmelo. He’s grown up beyond that. He understands in order to win big he needs Carmelo. I love what he’s done and I hope that physically he holds up. I wish him nothing but success. I really love the guy.’’
(One more thing about Kerr: He said he still hasn't recovered from Arizona's loss to Oklahoma in the 1988 national semifinals. "My therapist is telling me I'm about three years away from getting over it," he said.)