Allen Iverson and Bunch of NBA all star to watch Pacquiao vs Marquez 3

The Answer, Allen Iverson and some NBA stars like Kevin Durant, Amare Stoudemire and Paul Pierce will watch the Pacquiao vs Marquez fight on November 12.  The following players could be set to play in a tournament that is hosted by the former NBA All-star and scoring champion Allen Iverson. 
Iverson at age of 36 will be announcing the full line of the tournament that will take place at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. According to news there will be four teams playing and the first game which is on the 12th of November will be earlier to make way for them to watch the Pacquiao vs Marquez  fight after the game.

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Playoff berth ends miserable stretch for Knicks

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Write
GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Even while chasing championships in Detroit, Chauncey Billups couldn’t help but notice the comedy of errors playing in New York.
Larry Brown, his beloved coach with the Pistons, lasted just one tumultuous season with the Knicks before a contentious parting that went all the way to Commissioner David Stern’s office. Isiah Thomas, one of the all-time greats as a Detroit player, became a spectacular failure here as a coach and executive.

In New York City, the Motor City and beyond, the Knicks had become a punch line.
“Anything that goes on in New York is everywhere. It’s not just in y’alls’ papers, it’s kind of everywhere,” Billups said Monday, a day after the Knicks clinched their first playoff berth since 2004. “So I followed that, man, and it was, it was kind of unpleasant to see that.”
OK, so maybe the Knicks weren’t quite the Clippers. The longtime losers from Los Angeles have been the NBA’s standard when it comes to failed franchises.
On the court, though, the Knicks were even worse. From the start of the 2004-05 season to the end of 2009-10, only the Minnesota Timberwolves were worse — by three wins — than New York, which compiled a .352 winning percentage, according to STATS, LLC.
Throw in a sexual harassment lawsuit against Thomas and Madison Square Garden by a former franchise executive, the drama involving Stephon Marbury, and it seemed everyone was laughing at the Knicks.
“What I found here is that everyone wants to mock the Knicks because they don’t really want to see them get good,” team president Donnie Walsh said. “I didn’t. In Indiana, I did not want to see the Knicks get good because they could be good for a long time.”
Maybe they’re on their way.
Though the Knicks’ drought matched Minnesota’s for the NBA’s longest, they won’t be an inexperienced club when they return to the big stage in less than two weeks. Billups, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony have all played deep into the postseason, meaning the Knicks’ core would be as tested as anyone outside of Boston among Eastern Conference teams.
“We have three guys who expected to be there,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “So it’s not like, ‘look we did.’ This is a normal day for them.”
Nothing about the Knicks was normal before Walsh and D’Antoni arrived in 2008.
Shortly after Thomas was hired in late 2003, he thought he had the franchise player who would lead the Knicks to perennial playoff appearances when he acquired Marbury from Phoenix. They would make the postseason that spring before they were swept by the New Jersey Nets.
Marbury would eventually feud with Thomas and just about everyone else, including Brown, who went 23-59 in 2005-06 before Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan fired him and attempted to withhold the remaining four years on his contract, saying Brown was fired for violating MSG rules. The matter went before Stern before the sides eventually settled.
Anthony, like Marbury and Brown a Brooklyn native, was too busy with his own career in Denver to pay much attention to what was happening in New York. But he could tell how much it meant that playoff basketball back was coming back to New York from the excitement of the fans following Sunday’s 123-107 victory over Cleveland.
“As fans and as students of the game, we know how hard it was for the New York Knicks, the franchise, and for the city to have to go through that, not making the playoffs year in and year out, not having nothing to look forward to in the postseason,’ Anthony said. “So now we want to change that.”
D’Antoni, a regular 50-game winner in Phoenix, had to endure two 50-loss seasons in New York while the Knicks implemented Walsh’s plan to clear enough cap space to sign two superstar free agents last summer. Stoudemire was the first and he vowed the Knicks would return to prominence, making the clinching victory special for him.
“Any time you accomplish a goal, you really have a sense of pride,” Stoudemire said. “After that game last night, I felt extremely emotional. I sat down with friends and family and were having a conversation about the hard work that took place to get to this point, and so we really cherished the moment last night, but now it’s time to get back on track.”
The Knicks (38-38) will spend the remaining six games trying to finish with their first winning record since going 48-34 in 2000-01. They are 1 1/2 games behind the 76ers for the No. 6 seed, with a game in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Then it’s on to what they believe is the first of many postseasons. The misery of the last six years is over, and Anthony says the standards are higher now.
“We’ve just got to win games,” he said. “We have a team now that we want to build on, be better, compete at a high level every year, but anything less than playoffs is a failure for us from here on out.”


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Celtics rally for spirited victory over Knicks

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK – Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Rajon Rondo added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics scored the final 10 points for a spirited 96-86 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night.
With blood flowing and bodies flying, the Celtics showed the Knicks they will be tough to beat next month if this was in fact a preview of a first-round playoff series.

Paul Pierce scored 21 points and Ray Allen had 15 for Boston despite a poor shooting night and a nasty cut on his head that briefly forced him from the game.

Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points for the Knicks, but neither he nor Amare Stoudemire had a field goal in the fourth quarter. Chauncey Billups had 21 and Stoudemire finished with 16.
Boston (50-19) matched its victory total from last season after coming into play tied with Chicago for the best record in the Eastern Conference, seizing control in the final minutes with its trademark tough defense the sensational all-court play of Rondo, who made the tiebreaking basket with 3:10 left.
The Knicks lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 7-9 since acquiring Anthony last month, and as with Miami’s occasional struggles this season, has created concerns about how long it takes a team to figure things out when it has put superstars together.
“Hopefully two, three years,” joked Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who has his reasons for that wish.
The longtime Atlantic Division rivals could be headed toward a meeting in the first round of the playoffs. New York entered in seventh place in the East, a half-game behind Philadelphia.
This one started to resemble a playoff scrap in the second quarter. Boston’s Troy Murphy had to come out of the game with a bloody nose, and Glen Davis crashed to the court after Anthony caught him in the head with an elbow after grabbing a rebound.
Then Allen had to leave briefly in the third quarter after his head was bloodied by Jared Jeffries’ elbow while going for a rebound. Allen wiped blood from his head on the court with a towel, not far from where his mother was seated next to Spike Lee in the front row of courtside seats.
The Celtics took the hits and kept coming, trimming New York’s lead to 69-63 on Glen Davis’ layup at the third-quarter buzzer. They were down nine after Billups’ four-point play with 7:26 remaining but stormed back with 13 straight points, going ahead 86-82 on Garnett’s jumper with 4:20 to go.
The Knicks tied it, and after Rondo’s layup with 3:10 put Boston back ahead, Anthony was cut above the eye after colliding with Rondo trying to steal and inbounds pass. Rondo came up with it as Anthony fell to the court, then found Davis for a layup and a 90-86 edge with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Pierce knocked down a jumper for a six-point lead, and Allen put it away with a dunk to make it 94-86 with 40 seconds to go. He closed it out with two free throws.
A day after the Knicks managed nine points in the first quarter at Milwaukee, their worst opening period since scoring a franchise-low five on Nov. 21, 1956, against Fort Wayne, Stoudemire had nine by himself after 12 minutes Monday as New York built a 25-22 lead.
The Knicks scored the first seven of the second, capped by consecutive baskets by Ronny Turiaf, to open a double-digit cushion. It grew to 45-30 on Billups’ 3-pointer with 3:41 remaining in the half, and the Knicks took a 51-37 advantage to the locker room.
Notes: The teams meet again in Boston on April 13 in the regular-season finale. … Shaquille O’Neal worked out on a stationary bike before the game, though it’s still unknown when he will return from a sore right leg that’s sidelined him since Feb. 1. … The Knicks started Turiaf at center, the third straight game they had a different starter at that position.


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Anthony’s 29, Amare’s block lead Knicks, 91-86

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer

MIAMI – With the game on the line, LeBron James got past Carmelo Anthony.

Not Amare Stoudemire, however.

And just like that, the New York Knicks — with defense, no less — knocked off the Miami Heat.

Chauncey Billups made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:01 left, Stoudemire blocked James’ layup try with 7 seconds remaining to protect a one-point lead, and the Knicks finished with a 13-2 run to beat the Heat 91-86 on Sunday night.

“The bigger the game, the bigger the stage, the bigger they play,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said.

Anthony scored 29 points and Stoudemire added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Billups had 16 points for the Knicks, who rallied from a 15-point, first-half deficit and improved to 2-1 since the megatrade with Denver that dramatically changed their roster.

“These games like this are fun,” Anthony said. “It brings the best out of everybody.”

James scored 27 for Miami, which had won seven straight at home. Chris Bosh added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade finished with only 12 points for the Heat — who had 20 turnovers, matching the fourth-most forced by New York this season.

“We will have our breakthrough,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And as painful as this is right now, there will be a time that we break through and we’re able to execute and win a game like this against a quality opponent going down the stretch. What you hope is that the pain of a game like this resonates enough to make a change.”

With New York up by one, Bill Walker turned the ball over with 12.7 seconds left when he was unable to handle an inbounds pass, and Miami had its chance.

James drove on Anthony down the left side of the lane, but Stoudemire swatted the two-time reigning MVP’s try away.

“I watched it the whole way,” Stoudemire said. “I knew what he was going to do.”

Said James: “I felt like I got enough room around ‘Melo … and he just got a piece of it.”

James had another chance, but his potentially tiebreaking 3-pointer missed with 2 seconds left, and the Knicks leaped in celebration.

Miami is now tied with Chicago in the loss column, each with 17 in the tight race in the East. The Heat do have three more wins, but fell a half-game behind Boston for the top spot in the conference.

And it was there for the Heat’s taking, after holding an 84-78 lead with 3:05 left.

New York, as it had all night, came back quickly.

A 9-2 run over the next 3 minutes, capped by Billups’ 3-pointer over Wade’s outstretched arm with 1:01 left, gave the Knicks an 85-84 edge — and few people in the sellout crowd remained seated at that point.

“Mr. Big Shot” lived up to his name, again. James said before the game that he found it comical that some may have considered Billups to be an ancillary part of the Knicks-Nuggets deal.

Down the stretch, Billups took over.

“It’s a shot that I like to shoot,” Billups said. “It’s kind of a far shot, but it’s in my range and I knocked it down.”

Billups added a steal on the next Miami possession and set up Shawne Williams for two free throws and an 87-84 lead. James answered with two free throws, getting the Heat within one again, but Stoudemire’s block kept them at bay.

“I don’t think we played badly,” Bosh said. “I think we controlled the whole game. … We had control of the game. We just didn’t execute down the stretch.”

Mike Miller scored 10 for Miami. Walker had 10 for the Knicks, who won despite shooting 39 percent.

“There’s a reason we keep losing these close games,” Wade said. “So we’ve got to figure it out.”

It was the fourth and final regular-season meeting for the Knicks and Heat, and Wade could only point to one reason why Sunday night seemed so different.

“Melo,” he said before the game.

True, but the scene was anything but mellow.

Predictably, it was a double-feature of sorts — part showdown, part show.

Knicks superfan Spike Lee was having a conversation with Landry Fields during pregame warmups. Actor Michael Clarke Duncan and soccer star Thierry Henry had prime seats, tennis star Venus Williams appeared and Miami’s notoriously late-settling crowd was in place in plenty of time to lustily boo New York’s starters as they were introduced.

“The atmosphere was crazy,” Knicks guard Anthony Carter said.

Oh, there was a game, too.

Shawne Williams blocked Erick Dampier down low 2 minutes into the game. No problem — James simply knocked the ball away from Stoudemire, then threw a no-look, backward-over-his-head pass to Dampier for a dunk. A minute later, James dribbled behind his back to get clear of Billups, slapped the ball to Wade, then received an alley-oop pass back and slammed it with his left hand.

How good was that one? Someone posted the clip to YouTube within 8 minutes.

Miami’s lead was all the way to 51-36 when Bosh scored with 4:25 remaining in the half. Everything changed in a hurry.

New York scored the final 16 points of the half, starting when Billups made a 3-pointer, the first of four by the Knicks before intermission, including another by Billups and a falling-down, beat-the-clock version by Walker at the buzzer to give New York a 52-51 lead at the break.

Another drought to close the third quarter proved costly to Miami.

Up 66-60 when Miller made a 3-pointer with 3:30 left, the Heat went cold for the rest of the period. Anthony elevated over James Jones for a layup with 1:13 left, added a 3-pointer 34 seconds later, and the Knicks were within 66-65 going into the fourth. One quarter later, New York’s loss in Cleveland two nights earlier was forgotten.

“We redeemed ourselves,” Anthony said. “We’re not where we want to be yet. We’ve got a long ways to go.”

NOTES: Miller had missed the previous four games after taking several hits to the head, then battling a cold and ear infection. … Carter appeared in only 14 games with the Nuggets this season, never playing more than 16 minutes. He logged 19 on Sunday in his first outing with the Knicks, a day after D’Antoni told him he was still trying to figure out how to get him into the rotation.

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Knicks lose to Cavaliers

By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND – Carmelo Anthony left with a sore elbow and a bruised ego.
His second game with the New York Knicks was embarrassing.

Playing the final quarter with numbness in his right elbow, Anthony missed a key late free throw and fouled out of his first road game with the Knicks, who took Cleveland too lightly and were beaten 115-109 on Friday night by the fired-up Cavaliers.
Anthony, acquired earlier this week from Denver in a blockbuster trade, finished with 27 points but missed a foul shot with 25 seconds left that would have brought New York within two. Afterward, he said he banged his elbow in the second half and that it has been bothering him for some time.
“I don’t like to make any excuses, this was a game, regardless of how long we’ve been together, that we should have got,” said Anthony, who had a gauze wrap on his elbow. “It comes down to everybody being on the same page defensively. “We’ve only had four practices to get it together.
“No excuses.”
Amare Stoudemire had 31 points and Chauncey Billups, the other guy in the Anthony deal, scored 20 of his 26 in the fourth trying to rally the Knicks, who have dropped 10 straight to Cleveland.
Antawn Jamison scored 28, J.J. Hickson had 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Ramon Sessions added 22 points for the Cavs, who have beaten New York twice this season. Anthony Parker scored 16 for Cleveland, which has won three of five since ending a record 26-game losing streak.
“I put all the credit with that on the coaching,” joked Cavs coach Byron Scott.
The Knicks weren’t laughing.
They must have been reading their press clippings following a tsunami of publicity in recent days after finally landing Anthony, the Brooklyn-born superstar. His arrival had even the most cynical New York fans finally believing pro basketball was all the way back in the Big Apple.
Not quite.
The new-look Knicks are a work in progress. Their talent is undeniable, but they don’t have any chemistry and it could take some time for it develop. At times, Anthony and Stoudemire seemed to be playing on different teams. There was little ball movement as the Knicks seemed content to launch shots and hope they’d drop.
But the bigger problems were on defense. The Knicks got lost on pick-and-rolls and were unsure of what to do when switching assignments.
“Defensively, we’ve got a long ways to go,” Stoudemire said. “It takes time. It’s training-camp mode again.”
The Cavaliers came in with the league’s worst record, but they were the ones who looked like a team with playoff potential as they consistently outworked the Knicks for loose balls. Cleveland outrebounded New York 62-42, an inexcusable stat for the Knicks.
“They played harder,” Stoudemire said. “They had a great amount of energy. We got outworked.”
Cleveland didn’t even have its newest star, point guard Baron Davis, who has yet to arrive after being obtained in a deadline day deal from the Los Angeles Clippers. But as the Cavs were putting the Knicks away in the fourth, Davis did check in on his Twitter account.
“Loving the energy I’m seeing,” he wrote.
If not for Billups, who was saddled with three quick fouls in the first half, the Knicks would have really been embarrassed.
Mr. Big Shot made plenty of them, scoring 20 of New York’s 28 points in one stretch. His layup with 1:17 left pulled the Knicks within 105-103 and Stoudemire’s bucket made it 107-105 with 49 seconds to go.
But that’s when Cleveland’s Daniel Gibson hit the game’s biggest shot, drilling a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining. Billups said he shouldn’t have switched on a screen and gotten out on Gibson but didn’t.
Anthony, who had 16 points in the first quarter, was quiet in the fourth before driving the lane, hitting a runner and picking up a foul with 25.8 seconds left. Anthony, though, missed his free throw and then picked up his sixth personal trying to wrestle the ball away from Sessions.
Anthony then spent the final seconds on the bench as Sessions made five free throws in the last 24 seconds to ice it for Cleveland.
The Knicks’ medical staff checked Anthony’s elbow after the game. Anthony said it “flared up and had a little swelling” but that he expects to play in Sunday’s game at Miami. At the moment, he doesn’t have any tests scheduled on his injury.
“Right now, I don’t have any time for testing,” he said. “It’s time for me to play basketball and go out there and get some wins.”
The Knicks haven’t had very much practice time since Anthony arrived, and coach Mike D’Antoni has been trying to work out the kinks as players get accustomed to each other. D’Antoni hasn’t had enough time to fully open his expansive offensive playbook.
“There is a learning curve and you can’t get around it,” D’Antoni said. “We know it and we know it’s going to take us a little while.”
Notes: Hickson had a career-high five blocks. … Davis comes to Cleveland with a reputation for being difficult, which Scott says is unfair. “I talked to Don Nelson about him, and Nelly loved him,” Scott said of Nelson, who coached Davis in Golden State. “In New Orleans, I had nothing bad to say about him. He came to practice. Our differences were because of the way I wanted things done. But he’s matured, he understands what I was doing, it’s water under the bridge and we move on.” … The Knicks are interested in re-signing F Jared Jeffries, who they traded to Houston last season and was waived by the Rockets on Friday.
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Air21 stuns SMB, 92-87

MANILA, Philippines – Josh Urbiztondo chose a good night to wax hot, firing 31 points and thus leading the Air21 Express to a stunning 92-87 win over the fancied San Miguel Beermen in the main game of today’s PBA Commissioners Cup offering held at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Urbiztondo made 7 three point shots in the game paired with 6 assists and three rebounds.
The win was also a fitting gift for new head coach Bong Ramos who recorded his first victory against the SMB franchise after two attempts before with Air21 as well.
Also, Coach Bong Ramos denied the spreading rumors that Noy Baclao, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Rey Guevarra were set to be traded to San Miguel for San Miguel’s Danny Seigle, Mick Pennisi and Joseph Yeo.
Box Scores:
Air21 92- Urbiztondo 31, Robinson 14, Al-Hussaini 14, Reyes 11, Avenido 9, Baclao 4, Juntilla 4, Gonzales 3, Najorda 2, Arboleda 0
San Miguel 87- Brown 30, Washington 15, Santos 11, Cabagnot 7, Yeo 6, Salvacion 5, Miranda 4, Ildefonso 4, Pena 3, Hontiveros 2, Artadi 0
Quarterscores: 20-18; 50-40; 70-67; 92-87


Carmelo Anthony traded to New York Knicks

 Finally Carmelo Anthony got out of the Denver Nuggets.
Denver will receive Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, three draft picks and $3 million in cash in return for Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Carmelo Anthony. check full story inside

Knicks land Anthony in blockbuster deal with Nuggets
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in a blockbuster deal, according to a report on the Denver Post website on Monday.
Denver will receive Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, three draft picks and $3 million in cash, according to the report (
Along with Anthony, who has been the subject of trade talks since he declined to sign a contract extension with Denver in the offseason, New York will get Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman, the Post said.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Nuggets coach George Karl was quoted as saying in the article. “I’m glad it’s an opportunity to reinvent. I think everybody handled it as classy as you could handle it. There’s some sadness to it, there always will be.”
Anthony, a four-time All-Star who is averaging 25.2 points per game this season, had made no secret of a desire to play in New York.
He grew up on the East Coast in Baltimore and led New York state’s Syracuse University to the U.S. college title as a freshman before becoming the third pick of the 2003 NBA Draft.
“Who wouldn’t want to play in New York?” Anthony, who was born in Brooklyn, said last month as rumored trade offers and demands heated up. “That’s like the ultimate dream at the end of the day … Who wouldn’t want to go back home to play?”
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)


Knicks select Stoudemire, Felton as co-captains

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – The New York Knicks opened training camp with word another superstar was perhaps slipping away.
And yet even without Carmelo Anthony, coach Mike D’Antoni is clear he’s happy with what he has.

“I’m really excited about these guys right here,” D’Antoni said Saturday after the Knicks’ first workout at their training center, joking that he got a rash on his arm from the latest Anthony talk. “I got 15 stars right here. One, I don’t want to go there. Two, I’m really happy, enthused (and) excited about what we got. That’s my focus. Donnie (Walsh) will do his job. My focus is these 15 right here. I’m excited as I’ve been.”
The New Jersey Nets were working on acquiring Anthony from Denver in a four-team trade. That would be another disappointment for the Knicks after top free agents LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all chose Miami during the summer signing period.

But the Knicks did land All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire in a sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix, and he’s confident in his new teammates.
“I don’t think it’s over yet,” Stoudemire said of the Anthony sweepstakes. “But there’s no disappointment at all. We just got to focus on what we have. You know Carmelo’s decision is based on him and his family. We’re going to remain friends regardless of the situation.”
D’Antoni chose Stoudemire and fellow newcomer Raymond Felton as the Knicks’ co-captains on the eve of camp.
“It means a lot,” Stoudemire said. “Just the fact of accepting the leadership role. Raymond and myself have been playing in this league for a while and had some success. Raymond won a national championship back in North Carolina. I’ve had success in previous years in Phoenix. So we have a sense of leadership. But again we all must lead. We all have to. Every player. It’s a team thing.”
Stoudemire stuck around after practice to work on his offensive moves with assistant coach Phil Weber. He said he and Felton spoke to the team about the importance of staying in shape and working out, telling his teammates the Knicks are “now a team to beat.”
Felton signed with the Knicks after averaging 12.1 points and 5.6 assists with Charlotte last season. New York also acquired Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azuibuike in a deal that sent David Lee to Golden State, and signed Russian center Timofey Mozgov, Roger Mason Jr., Patrick Ewing Jr. and Shawne Williams.
So far, Stoudemire likes what he sees in his new teammates.
“I think New York made great strides this summer with the players we have at hand,” he said. “We’re in a great situation right now.”
D’Antoni was also pleased with the way the Knicks handled their first of two workouts scheduled for the day. Players returned later for another early evening practice session. New York will work out here until next Wednesday, when it leaves for exhibition games in Italy and France.
Anthony could be on the Nets by then, although the Knicks hoped to be able to sign him next summer as a free agent. But Stoudemire won’t dwell on the possibility of his friend ending up on New York’s closest rival.

“It don’t make a big deal,” Stoudemire said. “Regardless, we have to face New Jersey and other teams. We’ve got to aim to win.”

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The NBA’s New Jewish Star

Video Inside


It all started on twitter. Amare Stoudemire, the New York Knicks new power forward, and one of the NBA’s biggest stars, began tweeting words in Hebrew on his personal twitter account.

A couple tweets later, one of Amare’s twitter followers asked him:

“Whats up w the hebrew? Are you jewish?”

Amare’s reply was simple: “Yes Indeed!!”

On July 27th, the Knicks’ $100 million star flew to Israel to begin pulling up the Jewish roots from his mother’s side of the family.

On the 28th, Stoudemire touched down at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel-Aviv.

The first stop on Amare’s trip was Jerusalem; his first tweet from the holy city read:

“Jerusalem is a beautiful city, I’m at a cafe eating a late lunch. I’m learning Hebrew by the min. Keep up!! Shalom.”

A couple days later, and after getting a better feel for Jerusalem, Stoudemire tweeted:

“I’m having so much fun here in Jerusalem. I’m with family an friends. Love to everyone. 😉 shalom”

Following visits to more scenic places such as the Dead-Sea (the lowest place on earth), and Tiberias, Stoudemire finally made his way to Tel-Aviv.

“I’m here in Tel Aviv. This city reminds me of Miami. The restaurants are great an so are the people. Thanks fans for following me. Laila tov”—(Hebrew for goodnight).

Amare said he expected to have a great time, but what he did not expect was the great number of basketball fans that live in Israel.

“Wow!! The fans here are amazing. Everyone cheers “NEW YORK KNICKS!!” “NEW YORK KNICKS!!”

The State of Israel is officially a part of Asia, however when talking about sports, you consider Israel a part of Europe. Despite the numerous amount of professional basketball teams in Israel, the country unanimously roots for one team: Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

Maccabi is one of the most prestigious basketball clubs in all of Europe. It has won five Euroleague cups (ranks third behind CSKA Moscow, and Real Madrid), and has had some great talent, such as Omri Casspi, Anthony Parker, Carlos Arroyo, Will Bynum, Sarunas Jasikevicius, and Beno Udrih put on uniforms.

Being a very close second to soccer, basketball is one of Israel’s favorite sports and it was no surprise to see the Israeli’s welcome Amare with such love and hospitality.

Towards the end of his trip, Amare was interviewed by Israel’s most popular sports channel “SPORT-5”.

The first question the interviewer asked was: “You wanted to learn more about your roots, and more about yourself, what have you learned so far?”

“I’m a history guy” Stoudemire said, “I’m trying to find my original culture, and I’m very spiritual. This trip has helped me find my original culture.”

The interviewer then said “I see you wearing a Yarmulke, does that mean you’ll be celebrating Shabbat and other holidays from now on?”

“Absolutely, absolutely.”, Amare replied. “It’s now a part of my culture, it’s going to be a part of my lifestyle, and now it’s going to be a part of my family’s lifestyle.”

“Really?” The surprised interviewer said, “You know on Passover we don’t eat bread?”

“Absolutely, definitely no bread”, Stoudemire replied.

A shocked interviewer then stated “On Yom Kippur, you’re not going to eat?”

“Absolutely. There may be times that I have to eat, because of a basketball game, but other than that, I’m totally into it, and I feel that my spirituality is connected to it.”, Amare said.

There are now three Jewish players in the NBA. First, is two-time world champion and newly signed New Jersey Nets point guard, Jordan Farmar. Second, is Sacramento Kings’ sharpshooter, Omri Casspi, and last but not least, is New York Knicks All-Star, Amare Stoudemire.

It seemed only appropriate that the last question the interviewer would ask, would be regarding the person who made bigger splashes than Free Willy this summer: LeBron James.

“Being a peer, and maybe a friend of LeBron James, can you understand what he did?”, the interviewer asked.

Amare thought about his answer for a second, and then simply said “I understand from the simple fact of wanting to win a championship, but there were ways where he could have made it a little more kosher.”

That’s all for now


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