Amar'e Stoudemire does not believe the Cavaliers' addition of his former teammate makes them the team to beat in the NBA. In the latest edition of Sports Illustrated, Amar'e sat down with Dan Patrick for his regular column, 'Just My Type.'
A transcript of the exchange is below:
Dan Patrick: Is Cleveland the team to beat now that LeBron has Shaq?
Amar'e Stoudemire: No, I think the Lakers are still the team to beat. Especially with Ron Artest.
Now I don't think it is necessarily surprising that he said the Lakers are still the team to beat, because, well, they are. However, typically athletes don't answer those questions as definitively as that. A response I'd expect would be, 'they are certainly better with Shaq, and I would rank them right up there in the top 3 to 5 - not naming any of those other 2-4 teams - and ending the comment with something like, however the Lakers are the champs and still the team to beat. But he didn't say that. He just said no, and his team just traded Shaq, and there've been rumblings out of Phoenix that Shaq was a bad teammate, some say Nash wanted him out, and they didn't make the playoffs with Shaq, so take the comment however you want.