Sunday, February 15th, 2009 at 7:02 pm  |  10 responses

Amar’e Star Weekend

Being all over the rumor wire hasn’t kept STAT from his charitable commitments.

by Ben Osborne

Amar’e Stoudemire has been looking forward to this weekend since it was announced. He signed up for parties, charity events and even signed up to do a blog for us, all out of enthusiasm for a weekend he rightly considered himself an ambassador for (Shaq has been amazing all weekend, too, but it was a reach to think he’d be here; Amar’e was a lock all year). It should’ve been a great weekend for Amar’e (and personally, I’m sure it has been), but as this article explains, it has to have been a drag professionally.

Annoying enough he has to listen to all the Terry Porter stuff, but to be the subject to trades himself, this weekend, is in pretty poor taste. I realize that if the Suns want to remake their team and the trade deadline days away, it was somewhat inevitable, but I think Kerr and Sarver could have done a nicer job.

Amar’e's big charity push started Friday morning with a brunch held at Stoudemire’s Restaurant for the Phoenix Ronald McDonald House that I attended. The brunch found Amar’e in great form, cracking jokes with teammate Alando Tucker, taking questions and generally being a great ambassador for the House. Guests paid $125 to attend, and then additional money was raised through a silent auction that featured great All-Star-themed items acquired through Amar’e's obvious juice with the game’s best players.

As the brunch wound down I chatted with Nancy Roach, the Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix. She couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. “This is a new relationship we have with Amar’e, and we’re so happy about it,” she said. “He’s been aware of Ronald McDonald House since he visited one when he played in the McDonald’s Game in New York, but this partnership is new. People perceive great athletes as very cool, and if you have one endorse your cause, it’s a big help. A public event like this is a giant positive.”

I couldn’t tell how much of a basketball fan Roach is, but she clearly knew that Amar’e has been in the news regarding possibly being shipped out of town. Willing to take one for the RMHC Team, so to speak, she didn’t seem fazed. “All the Houses around the country are run separately, but we all endorse each other. So, if he were to get traded to another city he could easily work with the Ronald McDonald House in that city.”

amare brunch

This event was Friday morning. Amar’e then went through the media availability Friday afternoon, the partying Friday night, and the media and practice time yesterday morning before embarking on another charitable venture. I wasn’t able to make the second event I’m referring to, but it was a skills clinic at a local school where he teamed with Nike to share “insights, tips and details about the grassroots support that helped him reach the NBA,” according to Nike. He and Nike also teamed up to donate money to the local Native American community through the Nike-supported  Let Me Play on Native Lands Fund.

You want to mock the way Amar’e Stoudemire plays defense? Okay. Just don’t talk any junk about the way he conducted himself this weekend. As Roach said to me, “He’s a very gracious individual with a great heart. He understands he has a special opportunity.”

Too bad the Suns were so bent on overshadowing him all weekend.

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  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    Hey Kobe, tell me how my STAT taste

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    atta boy STAT, keep up the good work

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    Nice job, STAT. Is he going to check the comments on his SLAM blog soon?


    Yea trading Amare makes no sense to anyone if you can’t get someone you can build your team around in return. Sarver and Kerr are dumb. They have showed no class really when it comes to the way they are treating Amare. This whole time Amare has been in AZ he has never got in trouble, he has always been friendly, and he has been great to our community. I like the fact that he really seems to take pride in calling AZ his home year round. I think Amare gets a bad rap with his reputation too. He is nowhere near as “me first” as Shaq and a lot of other stars. I’m rooting for Amare to get the MVP of the Allstar game so it makes Kerr and Sarver look even dumber than they have made themselves look this weekend.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    When will Kerr realize, that the Suns aren’t playing poorly because of Amare.
    They’re playing poorly because of the SHAQTUS. No knocks on Shaq’s game though; he’s clearly gone to the next level this year. However, that being said, Shaq is too big and too slow for the Suns roster, which slows down the fast break tremendously, while blocking the lane. And we all know that the Suns team was built for the spread, run-n-gun offense. If Kerr trades Amare, he might as well be thinking of tearing the whole team apart entirely, and trading away Leandro Barbosa and Steve Nash. Which is what we very well may see in the near future.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Personally, I think it’d be awesome to see Barbosa in a Knick uniform.

  • jay

    Thanks for sharing this Ben. Too bad the rest of the media outlets are hell bent on putting out trade rumors and what not. I personally think Amar’e have handled himself very professionally this weekend, from what I’ve seen and read, & its great to know that he have also managed to hold charity events, when he could’ve easily opted for hosting and attending more parties. I really appreciate all you guys at Slam keeping us informed and updated on all the All Star festivities as well.

  • Todd Spehr

    Appreciate that piece Ben. Nice to see Amare has a good sense of community awareness and the effects he can have. Maybe with Gentry running things now he will have better fortunes; he avg 29 and 9 after the All-Star break last year (with Shaq), so hopefully he can do it again.

  • http://www.edthesportsfan.com Ed The Sports Fan

    Amare is going to be tough to deal regardless of where he goes. My gut says he goes to Chicago, but if they trade him to Phoenix, The Suns future is pretty much a wrap until they unload Shaq and Nash. WTF is Steve Kerr doing…


  • http://myspace.com/arodakaroman and1ballermj2350

    Yo Amar’e, do yo thang boy! You know the whole city supports you regardless of what management does.