Amare Stoudemire

Amare Stoudemire, the Warriors’ latest bad idea

Finding out Chris Brown played the role of Nolan Ryan to Rihanna’s Robin Ventura (only this time Rihanna’s face got bruised up and Brown got arrested the day of the Grammy’s) got me thinking about bad relationships, which always seem to come from patterns repeating themselves.

People tend to go back to what they’re familiar and comfortable with, oblivious to the warning signs easily recognized by others. Who doesn’t have a friend who consistently dates or pals around with the same types of toxic people again and again, regardless of past experience or pleas from friends or family?

I’m not going to continue this by dissecting the personal histories of Brown or Rihanna, since I don’t know them or find either one particularly interesting or fun to listen to. I’m here to dissect the local sports teams, and two of them are rumored to be considering player acquisitions that would bring, as Joe Biden once repeatedly said of John McCain, “More of the same.”

We all know about the Giants,  who are at this moment trying to decide if the best way to replace a a selfish, aging left fielder who happened to be the best hitter in the game is by signing Manny Ramirez.

Now the Warriors, if we are to believe Tim Kawakami (no thanks) or Marcus Thompson (OK, maybe), are auditioning for the lead in the new movie playing from now until February 19, Desperately Seeking Stoudemire. The Warriors were reportedly in the mood to give up their whole team for Kevin Garnett a year and a half ago, and now the word is they want to give up a similar chunk of personnel for Amare.

Amare has been hailed as one of the most uniquely talented big men in basketball for a few years now. Problem is, he’s most unique in that he might be the NBA’s worst defender even though he’s 6’10”, incredibly fast and can jump as high as Jason Richardson.

Sure, the Warriors need a power forward, but they need one more worried about defending the opposition than stealing passes from his own teammates. Otherwise the pattern of everyone from Paul Millsap to Andray Blatche murdering the Warriors will never, ever stop. For fans weighing whether or not the Warriors should either trade a package including Monta Ellis and Tony Randolph or one featuring Andris Biedrins and Randolph for Stoudemire (which is ridiculous anyway since Stoudemire makes $15M per season while Andris makes $9M and Monta $11M and are both Base Year Compensation guys, meaning either trade would be impossible), wishing for Stoudemire is like someone in Death Valley hoping for a little more sun in July.

Put aside that the Warriors don’t have the talent nor salary cap friendliness to even tempt Steve Kerr to answer the phone when Chris Mullin Robert Rowell calls. More importantly, how are the Warriors a better team with Stoudemire? The Suns are barely a playoff team, and they’re surrounding Amare with Steve Nash and Shaq; the Warriors are going to somehow join the ranks of the elite flanking Stoudemire with Monta or Andris and Stephen Jackson?

Sure, the Warriors are going nowhere right now. Andris is clearly a tad overrated (it doesn’t take a John Hollinger spreadsheet to figure out the Warriors’ recent streak of decent play has coincided directly with Biedrins not playing a whole lot) and Monta’s a flawed player with an ankle that may or may not ever fully heal. However, if the Warriors are going to truly move towards winning, they need to change their plan and their identity (and probably the makeup of their front office, but that’s clearly too much to ask right now). Don’t just get a taller version of Jamal Crawford or Corey Maggette — actually strengthen the team and change the way they play instead of going for the most flashy player available. Or is the success of a basketball team only based on season tickets renewed year to year?

Garnett would have changed Golden State in the ways the team needs to be changed. He would have been Mr. Right for the Warriors, the guy that made all the fans forget about Troy Murphy, Antoine Jamison and every other power forward who spent more time in Oakland worrying about collecting hollow double-doubles than leading the team via a commitment to defense, toughness and rebounding.

The Warriors are going to have to be creative to find the next best way to become a winning team — going after soft stat-mongering power forwards won’t help them move on from the sting of losing Mikhael Pietrus Baron Davis. After all in sports, like relationships, those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

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