For the second year in a row, Amar’e Stoudemire has done more harm than good to the New York Knicks’ playoff hopes—this time by punching the glass enclosure around a fire extinguisher in the locker room after his team lost to the Heat again, causing several lacerations that require stitches.
Stoudemire’s momentary lack of control will force him to miss game 3 and possibly the rest of the series, something the Knicks can ill-afford with their team down 0-2. He seemed contrite after the incident, apologizing to his teammates and fans via Twitter.
“I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions. Headed home for a new start.” Stoudemire continued, saying, “We all have done things out of anger that we regret. That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This to [sic] shall pass.”
Stoudemire was treated by paramedics and team doctors after sustaining the injury and was seen leaving the arena with his hand heavily bandaged and wrapped in a sling. Last season, Stoudemire injured his back attempting a dunk during warm-ups of the first round series with the Boston Celtics, and was not able to play until game 4.
The Knicks made history last night, but not the kind you like to talk about. The loss brought their streak of consecutive playoff losses to 12, tying the record held by the Memphis Grizzles (2004-2006).
Carmelo Anthony would not address the Stoudemire issue after the game, telling reporters he was “on the court” when the alleged incident took place. “I don’t know what happened,” Anthony said. “I really don’t know where his situation is at. I don’t know.”
Perhaps the Knicks uneven ball distribution has finally become too much for Stoudemire. Last night Stoudemire took just 9 shots and has a total of 16 shots for the series, compared to Anthony’s 41 shots.
“He was just frustrated,” a source told ESPN.
This situation has been brewing since Carmelo Anthony’s arrival in New York. While one of the most prolific scorers in recent memory, Anthony is a ball dominant scorer, which limits the amount of touches Amar’e receives during the game. Interim head coach Mike Woodson has given Anthony the keys to the “Iso-Joe” (referring to Hawks star Joe Johnson) offense he ran in Atlanta, giving Anthony the freedom to hoist up shots at will.
With Stoudemire out and the Knicks trailing 0-2, it will be up to Carmelo to lead his team back against the Heat, a challenge he accepts with open arms.
“The series is still up in the air,” Anthony said. It’s their home court. It’s our turn now. We can’t wait to get back and protect home court. We’ve got to keep everybody positive. It’s far from over.