The Sunday Daily News released an excerpt from New York Knicks All-Star power forward Amar'e Stoudemire's new tween book series "STAT: Stand Tall and Talented." The sample depicts the then-11-year old Stoudemire (whose nickname is STAT) as a precocious, gritty youth who quietly stepped up to an overwhelming challenge.
In the two-page set, Stoudemire and his friend hit the playground to go up against "Deuce" and "Carlos," two taller, older, and stronger opponents. STAT quietly accepts the challenge, takes a dirty foul without complaining, and plays tight defense against his formidable opponent.
Stoudemire's reflections of himself at 11-years-old beg the question of what happened to his character as an adult. Yes, Stoudemire's has overcome serious knee injuries early in his career to perform at an All-Star level (at least on offense). However, STAT's reputation has also been pocked with several instances of glaring immaturity.
In April 2012, Stoudemire punched a glass fire extinguisher case after a frustrating playoff loss against the Miami Heat. His behavior resulted in a one-game suspension.
Two months later, Stoudemire called a fan a homosexual epithet on Twitter in reaction to the fan's admonishment that STAT show up in game-shape when the 2012-13 regular season begins. STAT—who apologized for his behavior soon after—was fined $50,000 for his discriminatory statement.
Stoudemire has also been routinely criticized for his limitations on man-on-man defense and rebounding, both of which belie his size and athleticism.
Before the NBA season begins, Stoudemire may want to re-read his own writing about his teen days. He may learn more about how to conduct himself as an adult on and off the court. According to the Daily News, his book will be available on Wednesday where books are sold.