Stoudemire's status clouds sunny Phoenix season

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Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash leaves the court after Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Saturday, May 29, 2010, in Phoenix. The Los Angeles Lakers won 111-103. (AP Photo/Matt York) By Matt York Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash leaves the court after Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Saturday, May 29, 2010, in Phoenix. The Los Angeles Lakers won 111-103. (AP Photo/Matt York) By Matt York

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Suns were a reassuring testament that team chemistry means something, even in the me-first world of the NBA.

That they came within two victories of the NBA finals surprised just about everyone. If not for an unstoppable two-minute stretch by Kobe Bryant, the Suns might well have forced a deciding Game 7 in the Western Conference finals.

Instead, they held a team meeting on Sunday, then spoke of the joys of the season and the hopes that it was only the beginning.

Whether that future will include Amare Stoudemire is the big uncertainty.

Stoudemire said only that he would begin his evaluation process on Monday. Team owner Robert Sarver and general manager Steve Kerr wouldn't address the issue.

Suns coach Alvin Gentry says "you would expect" Stoudemire to opt out of his contract and test the free agent market.