Amar’e Stoudemire really wanted to play for, and retire with, the Suns

Didn’t his best days come in Phoenix with the Suns? That was the perfect fit, not the Knicks. The news that Amar’e Stoudemire was signing a one-day contract Tuesday so he could officially retire as a Knick left many scratching their heads.

Turns out the skeptics were right on the money.

Stoudemire, who spent his first eight seasons with the Suns, where he made five of his six All-Star appearances, really wanted to close his career in the desert.

Amar’e retires: here are the ups and downs of his Knicks career

“The last two years, we made phone calls to Phoenix but I wasn’t getting any positive response,” Stoudemire told AZCentral Sports on Thursday. “That would’ve been the perfect way to go out. I didn’t want to beg Phoenix.”

He admitted to the Phoenix newspaper: “I just went where I was wanted.”

Ah, the truth comes out!

“My heart was in two places — Phoenix and New York.”

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Obviously, Stoudemire was looking for a real contract from the Suns and not just a ceremonial farewell piece of paper.

“I love my fans in Phoenix,” Stoudemire told AZCentral. “Most of my high times and highlights were in Phoenix. I put forth the effort to finish my career in Phoenix but it wasn’t well received.”

So instead STAT turned to the Knicks, who were happy to oblige … at least with a statement.

Amar’e Stoudemire takes a buyout from the Knicks in 2015 after signing a massive free agent contract with New York in 2010.

Amar’e Stoudemire takes a buyout from the Knicks in 2015 after signing a massive free agent contract with New York in 2010.

(Kevin Hagen/for New York Daily News)

“I want to thank Mr. Dolan, Phil (Jackson) and Steve (Mills) for signing me so that I can officially retire as a New York Knick,” Stoudemire said in his statement. “I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise and we did just that. Carmelo (Anthony), Phil and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year’s acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again. Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained in the Big Apple. Once a Knick, Always a Knick.”

The Knicks gave the task of hyping the one-day contract to Mills.

“For parts of six years, Amar’e Stoudemire was the face of the New York Knicks franchise because of his excellence on the court and his dedication to our community and our fans across the world. When Amar’e asked us to retire as a Knick, we were honored to oblige.”

All Stoudemire got from the Suns was a tweet.

“The Phoenix Suns family congratulates Amar’e Stoudemire on a remarkable NBA career!”

The desperate Knicks threw superstar money at Stoudemire in 2010 after top choice LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach. While he did have a dominant first season with the Knicks — he averaged 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game over 78 appearances — Stoudemire’s bad knees and the arrival of Carmelo Anthony the next season stole away his starring role at the Garden.

He played in just 177 out of a possible 328 games over the next four seasons and eventually agreed to a buyout in 2015. Stoudemire then played 23 games for the Mavericks before capping his career in 2015-16 with the Heat.

Despite his “Once a Knick, Always a Knick” sentiment, Stoudemire said he is praying to be inducted into the Suns’ Rings of Honor.

“I bleed purple and orange.”