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Amar'e Stoudemire on why he decided to join the Miami Heat

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The All-Star veteran gives his reasons on why he chose the Heat in free agency.

Surya Fernandez - SB Nation/Hot Hot Hoops

Miami Heat forward Amar'e Stoudemire arrived at the practice court for Media Day in his newest jersey that took a while to get adjusted to.

While making the rounds for interviews and photo shoots, he laughed about how he didn't even get a chance to warm up or practice before throwing out the first pitch at a recent Miami Marlins game. Encouraged to name the worst dresser on the Heat team, he joked that it was Dwyane Wade and buried his face in his large hands.

But when it was time to discuss his reasoning behind joining the Heat and sacrificing a significant amount of money to sign a veteran minimum deal, he turned serious.

"I think, for one, the organization has been known to be a really good organization," he said. "It's a warm welcoming type of organization that makes you comfortable. Everything is ran very organized and professionally. With me also being from Florida, it made it that much easier for me to sign here."

Still just 32 but with 13 years of NBA experience after he was drafted out of high school, Stoudemire is also looking forward to mentoring the younger players on the team and being there for them if they're seeking advice.

He sees a lot of promise in Hassan Whiteside, who he'll back up from time to time as well as play alongside, and wants to help him reach his potential.

"Any time you're a young player who has a lot of potential, there's a lot of upside," Stoudemire said. "So for him, it's about really being able to focus on a consistent basis to allow him to become a better player."

With no promise of a big role or heavy minutes, Stoudemire insists he's here to help the team in any capacity they see fit.

"Whatever it takes for us to win," he said. "I think we have a pretty good roster. We have guys that can do a lot. I think it's about us being able to put these pieces to the puzzle together and see what we can do this season."

To that end, he believes this team can compete but still has plenty of work to do.

"Every team thinks they're a championship team," he said, "until you get out there on the basketball court and then you start to see if guys can play together and see if everyone can gell. On paper, yes, it's about us staying healthy and it's about us actually playing together and playing with a sense of urgency."

Excited about joining forces again with point guard Goran Dragic, he explains that they have been good friends since they're playing days together with the Phoenix Suns and that he had no doubt Dragic would one day be a great player. With Dragic re-signing in Miami, Stoudemire knew it would be a good opportunity for him as well.

"If he was to stay in Phoenix, I was thinking about going back to Phoenix," Stoudemire said. "But when he came to Miami, I knew he had a great chance to play alongside some veteran players that was going to help him. And then once I took a look at the roster here, it just made more sense to sign with the Heat. Goran and I have been friends for a long time so it's great that we can continue the relationship."

He also made no secret about his love for the city of Miami.

"The beaches are always intriguing, the lifestyle is more relaxing and the whole history of Miami is great," he said. "Miami is known as the best city in Florida. I'm sure the Orlando, Jacksonville and the Tampa areas are going to be a little shaken by that but it's true. Miami is a beautiful city so there's a lot to love about Miami."