Amar’e Stoudemire on retiring: “There’s a lot of high-level basketball left in me”

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Two-thirds of the key cogs of the “seven seconds or less” Phoenix Suns are leaving the game. Steve Nash made his retirement official recently, and Shawn Marion has said he will walk away at the end of this season.

Not Amar’e Stoudemire — he will be back somewhere next season.

The current Dallas Mavericks’ forward told ESPN Dallas he is not going to retire at the end of this season. Not even close.

“No, no, there’s no way. There’s a lot of youth in these legs. I have a lot of competitive juices still flowing in me. There’s no way I’m ready to be the next man….

“This isn’t it for me, for sure,” Stoudemire said. “There’s a lot of basketball left. There’s a lot of high-level basketball left in me. I feel competitive. I have faith in my body, what I can do on a basketball court on a consistent basis.

“The next step should be the best step, because I want to make sure I leave the game on a high note. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Stoudemire is averaging 9.8 points a game and shooting 57.6 percent for Dallas (he had similar numbers in New York this season and last season, he just got more attempts). After multiple knee surgeries, he’s not the explosive Stoudemire of Phoenix, but he still has value as a veteran big off the bench. These days he isn’t going to win you games but can give you 15-20 quality minutes a night as a reserve (he has a PER of 20.7 with Dallas).

Which is why Mark Cuban has said he wants to keep Stoudemire in Dallas this summer. Of course, it will come down to money, like it always does. There are a number of teams that could use a solid reserve big man. Stoudemire will have options, but it sounds like what he wants is to chase a ring.

Which means we will see him for a couple more seasons.