He’s also still making news, in this case for some homophobic comments he made Tuesday to a website in that country. Stoudemire, who has been playing since 2016 for Hapoel Jerusalem, a team he co-owns, was asked if he would have a problem with having a gay teammate. Other members of the squad were asked the same question, and according to a video of the segment, they all said they would not, with one player adding, “As long as he didn’t mess with me.” However, Stoudemire offered a different take: “I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner,” he said. “And I’m going to drive [and] take a different route to the gym.”
John Amaechi, former basketball player with experience in both the NBA and Europe, released a rather angry statement as a response to Amare’s remarks, calling the Hapoel Jerusalem center a “braying jackass”, who is “making a desperate grab for relevance amongst a constituency destined for extinction.” Amaechi came out as a homosexual in 2007, becoming the first NBA who publicly talked about being gay.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv has released one of its top players, Sonny Weems, the club announced Wednesday.
In keeping with kosher tradition, Stoudemire doesn’t eat pork or shellfish, and he sports a menorah tattoo on his left wrist. Then again, his premeal blessing includes a thank you to Jesus, and body art is considered by some rabbis to be a violation of Jewish law. Bottom line: Stoudemire says that he’s committed to “holy living” and that in Jerusalem, “I’ve never felt more at home, more tied to a place where I’m playing.”
The big adjustments for Stoudemire have come at his workplace, where he often plays in small gyms for less than 1,000 fans. Even as a veteran of international competition, he is still picking up on the rules and nuances of Euro-ball, the niceties of officiating, an Italian coach who speaks mostly with his hands. And Stoudemire’s teammates are . . . “Let’s put it this way,” he says, after searching for diplomatic words, “it’s more of a teaching situation. Like, Here’s where you go on a pick-and-roll.”
Q: What things have surprised you about the game in Europe so far? Amare Stoudemire: “It’s very competitive. It’s surprised me. It’s great for me because it allows me to continue to work on my game and continue to work toward improving. So the competitiveness here has surprised me.”