Archive for the ‘Amar’e’ Category

The Real Big Three

Posted: November 28, 2011 by Keith Stone in Amar'e, basketball, Knicks, Melo, NBA, Sesame Street

During the lockout, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony made a little trip to Sesame Street to chill with their buddy Grover and talk about the word “compare.” Melo was a little stiff but still turned in a better performance than the last video he filmed in the hood. At least he has that whole smiling thing down. Amar’e, on the other hand, has the makings of a young Idris Elba. As for Grover, the Nets might look to give him a $35 million contract after this performance.

Larry David is having a season like Wayne Gretzky in 1982 or Tom Brady in 2007 (before the Super Bowl, of course). Curb Your Enthusiasm is reaching unparalleled heights. Each episode seems like the apex but the ensuing one matches it and surpasses it. This week, you had Bill Buckner catching a baby, Larry’s bad memories from a Mr. Softee truck, black guys in glasses, and a car built like Peter North. I don’t know how he does it but this may be the funniest season of any show in TV history. That’s what happens when you move a series to the Greatest City in the World. Next week is the season finale featuring Michael J. Fox and I can’t even imagine how hilarious it’s going to be.

Bill Buckner’s appearance on Curb wasn’t the best sports cameo of the night, though. Amar’e Stoudemire, Michael Strahan, Mark Teixeira, and A-Rod were on Entourage as investors in Turtle’s new Italian restaurant. Is it possible to split an Emmy four ways?

Pimp Juice

Posted: July 15, 2011 by Keith Stone in Amar'e, basketball, ESPY's, Knicks, NBA

The suits at ESPN needed a star presenter at the ESPY’s (LeBron said he could only stay for the first three quarters of the show) so they called up Amar’e. He said he would do it but that he needed not one, but two sexy ladies on his arm. Maria Sharapova and Rachel Nichols (not the reporter, duh) do the trick. And look at that outfit. If a white guy tried to pull it off, he’d look like an extra in the Dick in a Box video, but Amar’e KILLS it. Cam Newton tried to steal his preppy glasses look but Amar’e was already a step ahead, like a carpenter making stairs. Plus, he made a new friend in The Closer, Brian Wilson.

>The Knickerbocker Conundrum

Posted: March 31, 2011 by Keith Stone in Amar'e, Coach D, Knicks, Melo


A lot has been made about the Knicks’ recent struggles. Before defeating Orlando, they lost nine out of 10 and six in a row including losses to juggernauts like Detroit, Milwaukee, and Charlotte. Melo has been here for 21 games now, more than a quarter of the season, so it’s fair to judge him and the team since the trade. But honestly, I can’t. I’m just confused.

When I used to run cross country in high school, I loved it when the people in front of me were too far ahead to catch but I couldn’t see anybody behind me. That way I didn’t have to run too fast but I wasn’t in danger of being passed.

The Knicks have been in a similar position for almost the entirety of the season. They couldn’t catch Atlanta but they weren’t going to miss the playoffs because the East is so weak. After the trade, it was expected that there might be growing pains but the results have been especially surprising.

There have been flashes but overall the quality of play has been perplexing. Against good teams, the Knicks look motivated and cohesive, but against also-rans, their play has been subpar. Unfortunately, the problems are defense and rebounding, which presumably are a matter of effort. Why is this happening?

Before Melo, the pecking order on the team was obvious. Amar’e was the star and everyone else followed suit. He was the engine that powered the team. The offense flowed through him but the entire team was involved.

Carmelo is one of the greatest creators in the NBA. Watching him, it’s absolutely astounding to see him play. He takes the ball to the hole like nobody else and the way he spins and dribbles the ball makes me question my sexuality.

But when Carmelo gets the ball, everything stops. He might be able to score 60% of the time, but is that better than if the ball gets spread around? On top of that, when guys don’t touch the ball, they become less involved in the game and their energy sags. It shoudn’t happen, but it does. You don’t want that to happen to Amar’e Stoudemire and you especially don’t want him to be unhappy because he’s not getting the ball. He’s earned it.

The Knicks’ offense was built around being up-tempo and finding the open man, not one-on-one play. In his third year in New York, and struggling after little success the past two years, Mike D’Antoni is on the hot seat. A lot of people are questioning whether he can make this arrangement work. It’s going to be tough but after turning Phoenix into a contender and revolutionizing the way offense is played, who better than Coach D to make it happen? It’s like having Wolfgang Puck make you waffles. Maybe he hasn’t made waffles in years, but when he gets the hang of it, those are going to be some fucking good waffles.

D’Antoni is too smart not to figure out how to make this work and Stat and Melo are committed to winning and sacrificing for the greater good. In time, Carmelo will have to learn to defer to Amar’e and his teammates more. The offense should still run through Amar’e with Carmelo an outlet in case the big guy gets stuck. Amar’e isn’t touching the ball enough anymore. This isn’t stuff you can learn on the fly and it’s going to take a lot of work over the summer to improve it.

The Knicks’ rotation is perilously short. When you’re starting Shelden Williams at center, you know you’re in trouble. Losing Chauncey Big Shot with his thigh injury did not help in getting the team to gel. Amar’e is already rightfully or wrongfully averaging a career high in minutes with a surgically repaired knee. Landry Fields is used to playing 30 games a year. Anthony Carter and Roger Mason Jr. are getting significant minutes. They traded away half their team. It’s incomplete. Leonardo da Vinci didn’t hang the Mona Lisa in the Louvre after he sketched out her smile. What Donnie Walsh (or whoever’s in charge) is going to have to do this summer is fill out this roster and make it complete for next year. An athletic defensive big man would be a good start and a dead-eye sharpshooter wouldn’t be so bad either.

This team is worn out and the playoffs are around the corner. What incentive does it have to bust its ass? Yeah, I know the fans are paying money but sixth or seventh place is pretty much a foregone conclusion with Boston and Miami waiting in the wings.

Personally, I want no part of Miami. Despite their problems, Queen James is going to be a beast in the first round of the playoffs. Boston is getting old and the Knicks could run on them. Either way, the identity of their playoff opponent is going to come down to wire and it will be daunting. Better to take it easy now than win a few games and be totally worn out for the playoffs.

So what is the problem? Is there a problem? The Nuggets have been rolling since the trade while the Knicks are crawling across the finish line and for the first time this season, people are starting to push the panic button. Realistically, there’s not one cause. Amar’e has proven that he’s a warrior and when Carmelo is determined to play defense and rebound, he is all-world. The Knicks have some good pieces and are definitely better than they’ve been playing recently. It’s upsetting and confusing to see them play so poorly against bad teams, but luckily (or not) they’re going to be playing somebody really good in about two weeks. I’m not afraid.

>Watch Your Back, Al

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Keith Stone in Al Horford, Amar'e, Knicks


You know how I know the Knicks are back? They’re getting into feuds with other teams. The last time the Knicks played the Hawks, Marvin Williams shoved Shawne Williams and punches were thrown. That followed Al Horford playing to the crowd after blocking one of Amar’e’s shots. The rematch is tonight at the Garden. Amare predicted a “very, very intense game after what happened in Atlanta.” That’s two very’s. Amar’e added, “[Horford] don’t want to see me. I watched him play in Florida, and I’ve seen him play a few years in Atlanta. We’ve got two different games, and we’ll see how it plays out.”

Horford responded, “I don’t understand what he means by that, ‘He don’t want to see me.’ Like we’re supposed to be scared of him. Ain’t nobody scared of him. We’re all grown men, so it’s all good.” Them’s fightin’ words. Amar’e has a bad toe, but is going tonight, no doubt to settle the score. That’s why you gotta love him. He’s got pride. It’s going to be a heated game, but the best way Amar’e and the Knicks can instill fear in Horford is to get the W.