There's a stereotype that NBA players simply collect paychecks and put forth a minimum of effort to get playing time, but that's a load of hogwash. These guys care and want to win, particularly when they're new signings expected to return glory to one of the league's marquee franchises.
So it hurt Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) when the Knicks fell to the Hawks 99-90 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday to end a five-game winning streak. But if you think Amar'e was upset after losing the game, just imagine how bad he felt after screwing up a new pair of fly kicks in the locker room after the game.
Tell us what happened, Frank Isola of the Daily News:
Amar'e Stoudemire was frustrated, angry and confused long before he accidentally spilled a protein shake into his shoes.
That messy postgame incident Saturday only added to Stoudemire's angst and delayed his exit since he planned to wear those sneakers for the trip to Detroit. So while Stoudemire was investigating why an employee would place a paper cup in a place where it could easily fall, the Knicks' $100 million man was also trying to figure out why his teammates would have such low energy on a day when they could've jumped over the .500 mark.
"We had no energy from the start," Stoudemire said after Atlanta's 99-90 afternoon victory at the Garden ended the Knicks' five-game winning streak. "With these early games, sometimes it happens that way. We can't make any excuses. We have to be mentally ready for these early games and we were not."
It sounds like the Knicks might need to add some form of energy drink to their pregame ritual if they were lacking in energy. Postgame protein shakes help you recover, but they can't give an energy boost to help you make the hustle plays that win games.
This is a silly story, obviously, but it's still worth imagining Amar'e getting really ticked off about the loss and then redirecting his attention to a poorly placed protein shake. You can envision the Knicks star focusing on missed defensive assignments, knocking over the cup, and then running around the locker room trying to figure out which worker should get yelled at. It's an emotional turnaround every person makes at some point in their lives: We get angry at unrelated things because we don't want to focus on the real problem at hand.
Luckily for the Knicks, they were able to bounce back and defeat the Pistons in two overtimes at the Palace on Sunday. Given athletes' love of superstitions, expect Amar'e to spill a protein shake into his shoes after every loss. Maybe the drink cleansed the Knicks of a lackluster performance instead of just making a mess.