Amare to change jersey number from No. 32 to No. 1

Updated: May 26, 2006, 12:23 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The fresh start Amare Stoudemire hopes to make next season doesn't stop at the knees.

Stoudemire, never shy about proclaiming his potential for greatness, will be wearing a new jersey in 2006-07 -- No. 1 -- after a '05-06 season in which he was limited to three games because of two knee surgeries.

ESPN.com has learned that Stoudemire formally applied to the league before the March 3 deadline to change his jersey number from 32 to 1 starting next season. For a player to change numbers without being traded, he must have worn the same number for at least four seasons and complete the application process.

Suns rookie Dijon Thompson wore No. 1 this season. Stoudemire has worn No. 32 since the Suns selected him ninth overall in the 2002 draft and sported No. 12 as a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

Stoudemire this week confirmed the number change to ESPN.com but said he prefers to address the switch after the season.

The only other player in the league to apply for a number change for next season is the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, who's moving from No. 8 to No. 24.

League rules dictate that Stoudemire and Bryant will have to keep their new numbers for a minimum of three seasons.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.

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Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics