intro by Sam Rubenstein

Well, this should be “different.” You know me as the former online editor of this website, and one of the two creators of the SLAMonline Top 50 Players list, which became an annual thing. The origins of this legendary tome are ancient mysteries, whose true nature shall never be revealed, for it would drive men to madness.

Or, Lang and I went to lunch at Outback to watch a Mets-Braves game and he jotted these names down on paper whilst we gAmar'e Stoudemireorged.

Flash to the present, and much has changed. As many of you know, I became a teacher, and right now I am the 9th grade English Language Arts teacher at a school on the Canarsie High campus in Brooklyn. When it was time to write the Top 50, I asked if I could have Amar’e, and if my 9th graders could write it. As Khalid once said, “Sam luuuuuuv da kiiiiids.”

(He also once said “Donovan McNabb is the QB of my football team.” Sorry, I had to go there.)

Today, in three of my 9th grade ELA classes, I explained what the Top 50 is, showed my students an eclectic mish mash of Amar’e videos, ranging from basketball highlights to him discussing his newly discovered spirituality, and I gave them time to write 10 sentences each about Amar’e.

Another one of my responsibilities is to teach my students how to communicate in a dignified and respectful manner. Even with complete internet strangers! I am only using their first names to protect their identities, but we will be reading this on our classroom Smartboard on Friday.

OK, enough of me talking. This feels like class. Here are some choice selections.

Amar’e Stoudemire by Mr. Rubenstein’s 9th graders

When Amar’e plays, he is violent and strong. – Britniy

Amar’e Stoudemire’s love for history is something I can relate to greatly. – William

Amar’e is a very spiritual person, with the Star of David on his hand. – Lascelles

Amar’e is confident in his abilities. – Steeve

Amar’e is very tenacious. – Stephane

He cares that children should get a good education, to have a good future. – Kevon

He loves to dunk on people. – Miguel

He is one who likes to celebrate after dunking. – Tristen Dr

Amar’e was thought to be a troublesome kid because of his constant school changes. – Tristen Dr

Amar’e Stoudemire is a very strong, aggressive, and committed basketball player. – Whitney

Amar’e is a Jewish beast – Shaquan (Note to Shaquan: there is a double-meaning at play here. We will discuss in class).

Amar’e loves to play ball. – Tiara

Amar’e started playing basketball when he was 14. – Alex

Amar’e played with Steve Nash for six years. – Kurone

Amar’e has dark skin. – Sean

He is all about school but he still jokes and plays around – Kevin

Amar’e Stoudemire loves to dunk and he is a MONSTER when it comes to basketball. – Rahim

Amar’e Stoudemire is a very energetic, spiritual, and caring person, apart from his life as a basketball player. – Nikki

He went to six different high schools. – Jose

He is way more mature than he was before. – Anthony

Amar’e’s favorite move is the pick and roll, then tries to dunk on someone. – Tristen Du

Amar’e doesn’t back down from anyone. – Terrence

Amar’e has a son. – Kazinur

Although he had his downs, he got back up and started out new, by changing his jersey from number 32 to number 1, showing a new beginning. – Rosemarie

He is looked upon as a leader by his team. – Louis

When he’s not playing ball, he’s working with “Each One, Teach One.” – Kendley

Amar’e is tall, buff, and educated. – Seriah

Amar’e was suspended because he was trying to see if Nash was ok. – Seriah

I think Amar’e will have a good year in New York and take them to the playoffs. – Ramshar

On a basketball court, he is rough and abusive. – Moise

Amar’e is focused on basketball and being the best player he can be. – Lemeek

Amar’e went to Israel to study about another part of him that he wanted to learn about. – Ataya

Where is my man Rondo? – Nasir

Amar’e likes it when the teacher makes school fun. – Nick

Amar’e played in Phoenix, and moved on to New York. – Jean

The reason why he does things for charity and to help schools is because he doesn’t want what happened to him in school to happen to others. – Wilton

Player Team Position 2010 2009 2010 2009
Ray Allen Celtics SG 50 36 10 9
Gilbert Arenas Wizards SG 49 34 9 8
Lamar Odom Lakers PF 48 33 14 10
John Wall Wizards PG 47 NR 13 NR
OJ Mayo Grizzlies SG 46 46 8 12
Al Horford Hawks C 45 NR 6 NR
Jason Kidd Mavs PG 44 45 12 10
Joakim Noah Bulls C 43 NR 5 NR
LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 42 39 13 12
David West Hornets PF 41 31 12 8
Monta Ellis Warriors SG 40 NR 7 NR
Andrew Bogut Bucks C 39 NR 4 NR
Yao Ming Rockets C 38 NR 3 NR
Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 37 NR 11 NR
Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 36 NR 11 NR
Stephen Curry Warriors PG 35 NR 10 NR
David Lee Warriors PF 34 NR 10 NR
Brook Lopez Nets C 33 NR 2 NR
Gerald Wallace Bobcats SF 32 NR 7 NR
Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 31 29 6 7
Tony Parker Spurs PG 30 15 9 3
Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 29 13 9 3
Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 28 44 6 9
Josh Smith Hawks PF 27 40 8 13
Andre Iguodala 76ers SG 26 26 5 6
Al Jefferson Jazz PF 25 23 7 7
Russell Westbrook Thunder PG 24 NR 8 NR
Chauncey Billups Nuggets PG 23 19 7 5
Tyreke Evans Kings PG 22 NR 6 NR
Danny Granger Pacers SF 21 21 5 5
Carlos Boozer Bulls PF 20 32 6 9
Paul Pierce Celtics SF 19 17 4 4
Joe Johnson Hawks SG 18 20 4 4
Rajon Rondo Celtics PG 17 27 5 8
Amar’e Stoudemire Knicks PF 16 16 5 6

• Rankings are based solely on projected ’10-11 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jeremy Bauman, Maurice Bobb, Erildas Budraitis, Sean Ceglinsky, Ben Collins, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Manny Maduakolam, Eddie Maisonet, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Charles Peach, Branden Peters, Quinn Peterson, David Schnur, Todd Spehr, Kyle Stack, Adam Sweeney, Dennis Tarwood, Tracy Weissenberg, Lang Whitaker, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.