Where were you the night Amar’e Stoudemire destroyed his hand slapping the casing around a fire extinguisher? It was an important moment in all of our lives, so you should. So where? Where were you? (Personally, I have no idea where I was, but I’m guessing on the couch.)
Nonetheless, it happened, and we finally have an explanation for what really went down. From a Fox Sports Radio interview with Amar’e Stoudemire, as transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews:
“It wasn’t a punch at all actually. It was more like a slap against the wall, but I caught the edge of the fire extinguisher. Some people think I balled my fist up and punched through a glass fire extinguisher, which is totally opposite of the truth. It was more like a smack against the wall, kind of a backhand or a reach back slap across the wall and caught the edge of the fire extinguisher. I think a lot of people confused my passion with frustration. I’m such a passionate player. I want to win so bad to where sometimes I want to win, so I bring my passion and it gets confused with frustration.”
Important clarification in there — it wasn’t a punch, but a slap. But also not really a slap, but a smack. Except not a smack, but more of a “backhand or a reach back slap across the wall,” which is probably something like this:
With that important explanation out of the way, I guess we can talk about Amar’e's claim that this happened due to passion and not frustration. And that’s fine. Amar’e is a passionate guy, but I think we can all agree it would have been OK for him to be frustrated. The Knicks had just lost their second straight playoff game in a contest where Amar’e had scored 18 points, which would be fine if he had got more than nine shots. I mean, after a season that saw Amar’e miss nearly a third of his team’s games and turn in his worst PER since his rookie season, to actually be having a good game and not get the ball has to be frustrating, at least a little bit. I’m sure his passion for the game was a big reason for his reach back slap, but you have to imagine a little frustration played in to things as well.
But whatever, at least we know what caused Amar’e's hand to fall apart and bleed everywhere. Just a classic combination of backhand slapping and passion, which has never led to anything good. Knowing when not to backhand slap is something we all learn. Let’s be glad Amar’e Stoudemire finally learned that valuable lesson.