Amar'e Stoudemire, who signed a contract Tuesday with the New York Knicks to formally retire with them, says he had made overtures to do the same over the past two years with the Phoenix Suns but "wasn't getting any positive response."
"That would've been the perfect way to go out," Stoudemire told The Arizona Republic on Thursday. "I didn't want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places -- Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted."
The 6-foot-10 forward/center was a six-time All-Star and an All-NBA first-team selection in 2006-07, forming one-half of a formidable pick-and-roll duo in Phoenix with point guard Steve Nash.
"I'm at peace with it because I gave everything that I had," Stoudemire told the newspaper. "It took a while. The game is such a beautiful game. I was truly in love with it, but there were no teams who needed my position."
Stoudemire was also named the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year after entering the league directly from high school.
"They brought back Jared [Dudley] and Leandro [Barbosa], my boys," Stoudemire said of the Suns. "That would've been a heck of a way to finish. I wasn't just going to keep knocking on someone's door that wasn't going to answer.
"I love my fans in Phoenix. Most of my high times and highlights were in Phoenix. I put forth the effort to finish my career in Phoenix, but it wasn't well-received."
Information from ESPN staff writer Ian Begley was used in this report.