5 NBA Players who retired too early
#4 Amar'e Stoudemire
Amar'e Stoudemire was an athletic big man known for his dunking ability. He was the ninth pick of the 2002 NBA draft. The Phoenix Suns selected the 6'10" high-school prospect from Florida. He attended Cypress Creek High School before entering the league. Then, he went on to become one of the Suns' key players.
In his first season with the Suns, Stoudemire averaged 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds. Stoudemire also played in all 82 games. His performance in his rookie season led to him winning the Rookie of the Year award, and he made the All-Rookie First Team with players such as Yao Ming and Nene Hilario.
Stoudemire's stats improved in his first three years then he suffered a setback. In his third year, Stoudemire averaged a career-high 26 points and 8.9 rebounds. In the 2005-06 season, he underwent microfracture surgery to repair knee cartilage.
He was expected to return in February but returned in March, but two games after his season debut, the Suns announced Stoudemire would miss the rest of the season due to stiffness in both knees. He played a total of three games that season.
In the 2008-09 season, Stoudemire suffered a detached retina. The injury happened in February, and he underwent surgery to repair it. He missed the rest of the season and wore protective goggles.
After retina surgery in 2008-09, Stoudemire had an 82 game season. He averaged 23.1 points and 8.9 rebounds. This was his last season with the Suns before signing with the New York Knicks.
In the summer of 2010, Stoudemire was one of many sought-after free agents. STAT was a part of a free agency class that included LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, and more. Stoudemire signed with the Knicks as they hoped to add another star alongside him. This did not happen, but the Knicks signed him for five-years on a $99.8 million deal.
Stoudemire played for the Knicks for four and a half seasons. New York waived him on February 15, 2015, and the Dallas Mavericks signed him three days later. He played 23 games with them and averaged 10.8 points and 3.7 rebounds. After playing for the Mavericks, he signed with the Miami Heat in 2015.
His season with the Heat was his last season in the NBA. In the summer of 2016, Stoudemire signed a one-day deal with the Knicks. He wanted to retire with the team and went through with the short deal to make it official. He retired at the age of 33.
As of now, Stoudemire plays for the Big 3 League. The Big 3 League is a 3-on-3 league featuring former NBA stars. Stoudemire plays for "Tri-State."
Stoudemire also played in Isreal after his retirement. So, he may not be in the NBA, but he kept active afterward. Recently, Stoudemire worked out for NBA teams in hopes of making a comeback. If he gets the chance, Stoudemire could help a contending team.