Amar'e Stoudemire won us over during his eight-year stint with the Phoenix Suns, with his sheer strength and remarkable athletic ability.
We never saw him as the "next" Michael Jordan or whoever, but as an All-Star level player when healthy who -- serious defensive liabilities aside -- put his team on his back more than once.
Stoudemire signed an enormous long-term deal with the New York Knicks a few years ago, but his time in the Apple has been marked by lots of losses, injuries, and now this:
A major-league temper tantrum after Monday night's 10-point loss to the superior Miami Heat likely has cost his team any chance of providing the Heat with a competitive first-round series in the NBA playoffs.
It happened immediately after the game, one in which the Knicks hung around for quite a while and one that was entertaining to watch, with great individual play by the usual suspects -- LeBron, D-Wade and the gang.
Stoudemire took out his frustrations on the glass door of a fire extinguisher casing near his team's locker room.
The door won.
Stoudemire's left hand required 15 stitches, and he left the Miami arena in a sling, looking almost as sheepish as he was downcast.
He will be out of action when the teams play again in New York in a few days. The Knicks probably will be out of action for the season after Game Four in New York, i.e. a Miami sweep seems in the cards.
We did get a kick out of a post that Stoudemire put up on his Twitter acccount, which is @Amareisreal: "I am so mad at myself right now, I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions.''
Some clever person with too much time on his/her hands then created a new account, this one for the "abused" fire extinguisher. It's @AAAExtinguisher.
"Where's my apology?'' the extinguisher asked, later adding. "I busted my glass to get where I'm at."
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Funny stuff, but not for the New York Knicks and one of their super-duper stars.