All quotes taken from the following article:
I don't know if this is something that has been mentioned on P&T, but I just came across the story this evening...
Way back when in 2001, Amare was still a high-school prospect from the Orlando area, but his trash-talking was already at an NBA level. In an interview, he had some critical words for a few then-recent prep-to-pro players--specifically, Eddy Curry, Kwame Brown, and his future teammate, Tyson Chandler:
"I think my work ethic is a little higher than theirs, to be honest," Stoudemire said. "I saw those guys play. I even played against them. I played against Tyson. I saw Kwame play and Eddy play. In the game, they didn't really play hard, I guess, because the competition wasn't up to their level. They're not really playing hard now. I think my work ethic is a little higher than theirs. My attitude toward the game is a little higher than theirs."
Understandably, Tyson was nonplussed with the high schooler's confidence:
"My comment to him is that he better just come and work, since he works so hard," said Chandler, who was taken second overall by Chicago in the 2001 draft. "It's going to be a rude awakening."
Soon afterwards, Amare joined the Suns and the two squared off, with neither backing down:
"So this past week, Phoenix and Chicago met in a preseason game. Chandler received a technical foul for taunting Stoudemire and tried to turn the game into a 1-on-1 battle.
When Stoudemire fouled out of the game, Chandler waved goodbye, and the two stared at each other. Chandler finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. Coach Bill Cartwright criticized him afterward. Stoudemire played more balanced, and had 13 points and eight rebounds."
Some back story! Who knew? Obviously, both guys have moved on from this feud, but it's still an interesting anecdote considering they share the paint these days. I also have to call out a particularly amusing passage from the article regarding both players' styles:
"Their styles contrast, too. Stoudemire is a power player, a quick leaper and intimidator. Chandler is just as athletic, but he has more finesse to his game."
These days, it's hard to think that Chandler ever had more "finesse" to his game than STAT...I mean, he has literally made ONE jump shot this season, of the roughly 5 or so that he has attempted. Amare, on the other hand, has shot roughly 15,000 elbow jumpers in the shortened season.
Anyhow, thought this was an interesting story, even if the water is already under the bridge between the two, as it appears. As a Knick fan, you have to appreciate the fact that both of them have been aggressively confident from an early age.