- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

STOUDEMIRE MAKING THE GRADE If you want to hear Wizards coach Doug Collins gush, bring up the name of Suns rookie Amare Stoudemire, selected with the ninth pick in last summer's NBA Draft.

"I told those guys out there to get ready for the ups and downs of having a young high school kid, and, boy, am I eating my words," Collins said. "I heard that he works exceptionally hard in practice, that he gets there early, loves to play extra with the guards.

"I hear he sits down, watches a ton of tape and wants to learn. When you have that attitude and that kind of skill, there's only one way for you to go, and that's up. Phoenix is very blessed that they have a young player who has grasped it that quickly. The majority of the stuff he gets is from energy and effort. All the stuff I preach."

Stoudemire came into MCI Center averaging 12.9 points and 9.2 rebounds. His recipe for success?

"A lot of high school guys don't understand that when you come to the NBA you've pretty much got to take care of your own business," Stoudemire said. "Being in the NBA is like being the CEO of your own company, and a lot of high school guys don't understand that. You just have to prepare for it. But I've never been intimidated by anybody, not at all."

Stoudemire took a moment to compare his game with that of Kwame Brown, selected by the Wizards out of high school with the first pick in the 2001 draft.

"We're different ballplayers," Stoudemire said. "I can't really tell you why he's doing what he's doing. I can tell you what I'm doing. I'm just working hard. That's the only thing that I'm doing. But I'm pretty sure that he's working hard, too. I can't really tell you why I'm so successful now."

HE WOULD VOTE FOR THEM Collins, who can't vote for Jerry Stackhouse or Michael Jordan because they are his own players, endorsed both as reserves for the East in next month's All-Star Game. The reserves will be named today.

"I hope the other coaches vote Michael and Jerry on there. Michael deserves to be there, and so does Jerry," Collins said.

Stackhouse leads the Wizards in scoring (22.6). Jordan, who is averaging 18.2 points, has said he would prefer not to be named to the team.

John N. Mitchell

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide