If you’ve watched the Knicks at all this season, you’ve probably noticed a few trends. They shoot (and make) a lot of 3s. They’re better when they move the ball and a .500 team if they can’t. Chris Copeland is the best hurky-jerky offensive player in the league. Carmelo has something to prove this season. And Raymond Felton couldn’t stop your aging aunt from walking to the fridge. You also may have noticed the $100 million elephant in the room, named Amar’e Stoudemire, who severely hinders the Knicks in almost every statistical category when he plays. Luckily he doesn’t.
Apparently he’s a vegan.
While the Knicks probably spent last night going over Jeff Green’s scouting report, Amar’e was undoubtedly glued to Epix, watching his autobiographical documentary which aired seemingly out of the blue. Not because the timing was random — that makes a lot of sense — but because Amar’e, judging by the content of the documentary itself, isn’t all that deserving of a full-length movie about himself. Sure, he had a rough childhood. Sure, he struggles with injuries. But these are about the two most ubiquitous storylines in professional sports. That’s like making a documentary about an artist who struggles with depression and smokes cigarettes. Not to minimize their impact on Amar’e’s life, but seriously, who gives a shit. Unless his mom was a serial killer and his dad invented the flux capacitor, we’ve heard this story about 13 bagillion times.
Did I mention he was vegan…sometimes?
The movie plays like a promotional video masquerading as an overtly self-important Outside The Lines piece. It paints Amar’e as a sort of renissance man. Articulate, one-of-a-kind, philanthropic — even revolutionary. Amar’e’s words, not mine. He claims at one point to have “revolutionized the position.” Which he has, if you’re talking about defensive positioning, of which he has pioneered the never-move-your-feet technique. Once again, this is all stuff we see once a week featured on Sportscenter. Why this got a hour and a half, I’ll never know. Hell, why he makes more money than LeBron James I’ll never know.
Oh, and he doesn’t eat meat, dairy, or eggs — except when he does.
Epix claims they “GET BIG MOVIES!” Well, they obviously DON’T get big men. It seems rather obvious to me that they started filming this under the assumption that he’d be playing in the playoffs upon it’s release, and the film would serve as part of the narrative about Amar’e’s resilience as a human being. So much for that.
The end of the film rocks rose colored protective eyewear, claiming that Stoudemire “led” the Knicks to a string of victories after returning mid-season from injury. Really? Did he lead them to the 17-6 record after he went out with season ending surgery? At that point in the movie, my bullshit meter fell off the wall, hit me in the head, and I passed out. When I woke up, it was playing again, and I watched it a second time having forgotten that I just saw it.
BREAKING NEWS: Amar’e Stoudemire is technically a vegan when he eats a green salad.
All in all, I feel bad for the guy, and applaud him for trying to salvage what is really a disappointing career given his physical gifts. If this documentary isn’t an audition tape for other teams as a player, it’s a suggestion that, hey, this guy who admits he “never learned defense” wants to coach a basketball team near you. Because he does. Internationally. In Canada. No joke. He instructs kids on the fundamentals.
The fact remains, that every goddamn Knicks fan (that I know, at least) is audibily worried that he might come back. Can you imagine? 58 year old Argentinian rookie PG, Pablo Prigioni, and Amar’e’s replacement Kenyon Martin, are the ones everyone wants back, and the “revolutionary” $100 PF is the guy everyone is screaming “don’t invite him to the party he’ll fucking ruin everything!”
Maybe the gist of the film is that someone willing to have his own life documented for television isn’t exactly the best teammate. It would have been better suited as a documentary about how the LeBron deal fell through, and why Amar’e somehow coaxed Carmelo to come to the Knicks — at the expense of David Lee.
PS – There is a special place in, um, restaurants, reserved for people who pretend to be vegan.
Photo Via Getty