Amare Stoudemire, the star power forward on the Phoenix Suns, is forced to wear goggles for the rest of his career. Although that might not suit him throughout his time shooting hoops, he's ready.
Ready? Ready for what? He's ready for this season. After missing most of the season last year, despite scoring 21 points and eight rebounds, he's ready. Amare Stoudemire will be focused this season, and will be a strong competitor.
Two eye surgeries, no big deal to him. Wearing goggles, he can expect worse. Injury machine, heck, that's done for good with him. He's reminding the league that he will be dominant on the court.
With Arizona teams already struggling here so far, with the Cardinals being pummeled by almost every NFL team and the Mercury looking to lose in the Finals to the Fever, it's up to the Suns to show who's boss in Grand Canyon state.
Stoudemire hasn't played for more than eight months and played in his first preseason game not too long ago. He's also showing the league that you can still be assertive even though you had to battle through tough injuries.
"I really enjoy the game of basketball now," Stoudemire said told Marc Stein in an ESPN report. "I did [before], but now I definitely appreciate it."
Now here is Amare, playing in an exhibition game against the Warriors on Saturday Night...outdoors. But you think things are easy for the guy.
No, not at all. 6'10," 250-pound athlete had just recovered from a detached retina in which he had to go through some grueling procedures. These included laying on his stomach for ten straight days, on his stomach.
This certainly must be worst than his injury back in 2005, in which he was rebounding from a microfracture surgery on his left knee.
How is that rehab going for Mr. Stoudemire? Amare recalls on the rehab in just one word: Brutal. No, make that two word: Extremely brutal.
"Hard to deal with, hard to get over, still think about it," he said. "A lot of folks probably wouldn't be able to do it. But it makes you enjoy the moment. I'm just ready to play ball. We don't even talk about the [contract] stuff. I'm just trying to focus on getting myself reacclimated to this team and this system. As far as the season and me being here, I don't think about it. I'm here now, that's how I look at it."
Shaq is gone, so it seems like Amare will be getting a lot of playing time, and I really mean a lot. Stoudemire, Nash, Hill, Lopez and Richardson will be the guys for this season.
But most of those guys mentioned are injured. Can Amare lead his Suns to the playoffs, and most importantly, the Finals? Yes he can. I don't expect him to give up, not one bit.
Why else would he have number one plastered on his jersey?