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Devin Booker, Frank Vogel praise Amar’e Stoudemire before Suns Ring of Honor induction

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

As one of the main faces of Phoenix Suns basketball during the 2000s, Amar’e Stoudemire will be recognized for his monumental accomplishments and eight-year NBA career in the Valley.

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This evening, Phoenix takes on the Houston Rockets and Stoudemire will be inducted into the “Ring of Honor” at Footprint Center. His number 32 will be – funnily enough – retired on the date of 3/2, a presumed coincidence.

As a Sun, Stoudemire was known for his forceful dunks, defense and shot-blocking ability around the rim.

He played in Phoenix from 2002-2010, capturing the 2002-03 Rookie of the Year title and was a six-time NBA All-Star. Stoudemire averaged 21.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while also racking up a total of 447 blocks for the Suns.

High Praise

When asked about Stoudemire and his Ring of Honor Induction, Devin Booker was happy for him and reflected on Stoudemire’s impact in Phoenix.

“Somebody that is much deserving for it,” Booker said. “He is a fan-favorite in the Valley for obvious reasons and the team hasn’t seen anything like him ever since.”

During the losing seasons early in Booker’s career, he mentioned that he developed a strong bond with Stoudemire – especially when he reached out to support Booker and helped him while going through challenging times.

“I developed a relationship with him as soon as I got here [Phoenix] even though he was living on the East Coast,” Booker said. “He is somebody that would keep in contact with me even on random games that nobody’s watching. And when we were getting our head beaten every night, he’d still text me, ‘Keep goin’ youngin’.’ That means a lot, I’ve always shown respect to the ones that came before me and they always return that.”

Another person who not only witnessed Stoudemire on the court but came up with game plans against him was Suns head coach Frank Vogel.

Reflecting on Stoudemire’s starstudded career, Vogel gave him high praise for the effect he had on the court game in, game out.

“That guy is one of the best dunkers in NBA history,” Vogel said. ” Just electric when attacking the rim, the perfect compliment to Steve [Nash’s] IQ and pace. Definitely a respected member of the NBA community and one of the best Suns of all time.”

Stoudemire’s name will be cemented into the rafters at Footprint Center when Phoenix faces Houston tonight at 7 p.m. MST.

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Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

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