Since 2010, Amar’e Stoudemire hasn’t worn a Phoenix Suns uniform, but eventually, no Suns player will ever again wear his No. 32. Stoudemire and his teammate Shawn Marion will be enshrined in the Suns’ Ring of Honor during the 2023–2024 NBA season, the organization announced on Wednesday.
In line with the team’s press release, this is “the franchise’s highest honor bestowed to individuals who have made an enduring impact on the organization, community, and Suns fans.”
The first eight seasons of Stoudemire’s 14-year NBA career were spent in Phoenix, where he won the Rookie of the Year title in 2002–2003 and made five All-Star appearances.
Stoudemire converted formally to Judaism in 2020. Stoudemire is third in scoring average (21.4), fifth in points scored (11.035), and seventh overall in Suns history.
Stoudemire remarked in the announcement, “I bleed purple and orange, making this a terrific honor to be admitted. “My best and most influential years with the Phoenix Suns occurred there.
I adore Suns fans and am grateful for their unwavering support throughout the years. In the history of the league, Stoudemire is the second Jewish player to have his number retired. Approximately 220 other players have received this honor.
Dolph Schayes was the first; he retired in 1964, and the Philadelphia 76ers retired his No. 4 in 2016, months after his passing. Stoudemire is “one of the most talented players in the league,” according to Phoenix owner Mat Ishbia, a Jewish billionaire who acquired the Suns and the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA late last year.
Stoudemire and Marion will each get recognition on their own night in the future as part of the induction. Additionally, Stoudemire’s and Marion’s respective jersey numbers, 32 and 31, will be retired.
Ten Suns players, including Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Steve Nash, have had their numbers retired to date. Stoudemire has made a point of expressing his ties to the Black Hebrew Israelites.
He spent a number of years playing professionally in Israel, twice taking home the Israeli Basketball Premier League title.
He also owns a line of kosher wine and has served as a coach at the Maccabiah Games. He quit his position as the Brooklyn Nets’ assistant coach last year, claiming that it conflicted with his Shabbat observance.