The Miami Heat swept away the ailing Knicks, but not before Amar'e Stoudemire was clowned out of the building.
Let's forget for a moment that the first round is taking longer than most presidential terms because of some memorable moments that should last us well after the NBA Finals.
One such moment took place at the tail end of Game 5 between the Knicks and the Heat. While it may have been viewed by most as a closeout game, I saw it as the Heat putting the Knicks out of their misery.
Let's get real. We all knew this series was over a long time ago. Amare Stoudemire's brief boxing match with a fire extinguisher casing was just the turning point.
Stoudemire was able to lend one more joke to the pile that has been mounting in his area. With minutes to go in the game, Shane Battier fell to the court after drawing contact with Stoudemire.
The Knicks forward charged through Battier and then pretended to help him up. Next came the classic psyche-out where Stoudemire took back his hand.
Five-year-olds around the world rejoiced.
Sure that would have been a petulant way for a disgraced athlete to leave the season, but there was one more turn of the dial.
The Heat PA announcer chimed in with a petty joke of his own. It was a wonderful couple minutes of small-minded glory, and we all benefit from the spoils.
Here is video of the PA announcer taking a turn as stand-up comedian, issuing that Stoudemire had been "extinguished form the game."
The team and announcer, Michael Baiamonte, have now officially apologized to Stoudemire in a statement released on Thursday, via ESPN. The Knicks star doesn't seem to be all that bothered by any of it though.
Funny, considering his team was just dismissed with ease, he became a joke after an ill-advised punch and then had salt poured on the wound just as he said his fond farewells for the season.
I guess the bigger theme might be to leave Shane Battier alone, because he seems to have loud friends at the scorer's table.
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