On Saturday, Amar’e Stoudemire’s Knicks had been so thoroughly destroyed that the loss was easy to write off. The team had shot so poorly it seemed that Mike D’Antoni must have returned to the sidelines in a bald cap and some very offensive makeup. The team was out of sync. Tyson Chandler was sick. It was bad. But bad games happen. Blowouts happen. This was still the same Knicks team that went 18-6 over their last 24 games. The loss was an outlier. On Monday night, things would be different. They’d see if they could actually play with Miami.
Last night, for the second time in three days Amar’e Stoudemire walked off the court of the American Airlines Arena a loser. This time was different. He had shot the ball well (18 pts, 6 for 9 from the field). Carmelo Anthony scored 30. They had hit the Heat with a legitimate punch, but it didn’t matter. It bounced off LeBron and Wade, as they went about their business of dominating a basketball game. The Heat won by 10. So Amar’e walked off the floor, walked down the tunnel, and threw another punch. This time at a fire extinguisher in a glass case.
The glass shattered. The extinguisher was probably offended. Amar’e cut up his hand. Paramedics ran down the tunnel after him, and Stoudemire was seen leaving the arena in a sling. His status for Game 3 is seriously in doubt. The star took to Twitter to apologize to fans.
But many are still wondering why he did it. On ESPN, Brian Windhorst wrote, “Stoudemire’s reasoning for such an emotional display was hard to explain.” As much as I respect Windhorst, I couldn’t disagree more. I think as Amar’e walked off the court he flashed back to Phoenix and realized what every Knicks fan has feared for some time. That after all those bad years. After all the hope and frustration. After all the promise and disappointment. After finally getting their superstars. After losing a bad coach. After Linsanity. None of it matters. Because all of their money is tied up in Amar’e’s aging knees, Carmelo’s ball-hogging hero complex, and Tyson Chandler’s beard. For better or worse, this is their team going forward, and they still aren’t anywhere close to good enough.
And the Heat aren’t going anywhere.
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