The New York Knicks have been one-upping their own absurdity all year long, so why stop now? After Saturday's 33-point loss and another lifeless loss in Miami Monday night, Amar'e Stoudemire walked off the court and promptly took his frustrations out on a fire extinguisher.
Or, he punched the metal and glass case that holds the fire extinguisher. Didn't technically get a chance to attack the fire extinguisher itself. Either way, Go Knicks! To give you a brief recap, this was how the news broke minutes after the game:
Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire punched the glass area that enclosed a fire extinguisher, a source tells @YahooSports.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 1, 2012
Then this became the best tweet of the NBA Playoffs so far:
'extinguisher', 'lockeroom', 'paramedics' & 'lacerated' are now trending in #NY trendsmap.com/us/new+york— Trendsmap New York (@TrendsNewYork) May 1, 2012
And people told topical jokes:
Amar'e Stoudemire wouldn't have cut his hand if he wore Nike shoes. On his hands.— @BarkingCarnival (@BarkingCarnival) May 1, 2012
There was a parody account born:
Come at me, bro @amareisreal— Fire Extinguisher (@AAAExtinguisher) May 1, 2012
And then Amar'e apologized, and I actually felt pretty bad for him:
I am so mad at myself right now, I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start— Amar'e Stoudemire (@Amareisreal) May 1, 2012
Pro athlete or not, anytime you find yourself being compared to Gus Frerotte, you're having a really bad night. Another highlight was Charles Barkley discussing Amar'e and saying, "You can't do that. I mean, you get frustrated, you can't hit glass. I mean, c'mon man, c'mon." (*cough*) Says the guy who threw a heckler through a plate glass window.
Just a spectacular story all around. Anyway, because you've already seen a thousand jokes about it on Twitter, three quick thoughts going forward.
- The NBA really is Where Amazing Happens. Always, in so many ways.
- This really, really sucks for Amar'e. Completely his fault and totally hilarious, sure, but between the injuries he's dealt with all year and the death of his brother earlier this season, this is just about the worst way possible to head into the summer. He's currently an NBA laughingstock, he let his teammates down and will (probably) miss the rest of the series and/or face a fine or suspension from the Knicks, and of course, it all happens in New York City, with the most ruthless media in the country. So, here's to hoping he weathers the storm and eventually bounces back.
- This really doesn't suck that much for the Knicks.
The New York media is handling it with their traditional restraint and perspective ("The Knicks’ hopes have been shattered and their season is a bloody mess"), but it's actually not that horrible. The Knicks lineup that played the first two games against Miami wasn't going to do any better in New York. For instance, every time New York got close in the second half of Game 2 Monday night, Miami would make a few plays and you'd think, "Oh yeah, this isn't a close game. They can stretch this lead to 15 whenever they want." Forcing Mike Woodson into some creative lineups is New York's only hope hope at this point.
Keep in mind: Amar'e was already a shell of the player he was last year. He's mediocre on defense, doesn't rebound all that well, and he takes up space in the lane that makes Carmelo's life harder as a scorer. He's 30 percent as explosive as he used to be, and right now, the cost that comes with adding Amar'e to the mix isn't worth the benefits.
The Knicks aren't winning this series regardless, but they've got a better chance at stealing a game or two if they go small, start 'Melo at power forward, put shooters like J.R. Smith and Steve Novak all over the court, and take their chances from there. You can't exactly bench your $100 million power forward and make that your crunch time lineup, but if he gets injured in a freak fire extinguisher accident?
Isn't that exactly what they needed?
Nathaniel Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
(Also: We've already thrown out the idea for a coffee table book full of New York tabloids and their Knicks covers in 2012, but in addition, there had better be at least three Knicks beat writers planning books about this season. The world needs the insanity documented in full.)
Now, elsewhere in the NBA Monday...
WORRYING ABOUT THE THUNDER
Part 1: The Thunder did not look great in their Game 2 win against the Mavs, and in Game 1 they needed a six-point comeback in the final minutes AND a lucky bounce on Durant's game-winner to get the win. This is why some are worried that OKC's got some issues. This is also pretty unfair. The Mavericks may not be the same team they were last year, but they've still got Dirk and Jason Terry, they've still got Shawn Marion to throw at Durant, and Rick Carlise's still one of the three or four best coaches in the NBA. So... Didn't OKC just hang tough in two wars with the defending champs, ultimately one-upping some of the most dependable crunch time veterans the NBA has? Just saying: James Harden's been fantastic, KD has hit big shots, and Russell Westbrook was vicious all night long in Game 2. Most importantly, last year they would've lost one or both of these games. Let's not sell their progress short.
Part 2: A legitimate worry? They spent most of the first two games flailing around and looking for fouls constantly, and God it's annoying to watch. No team in the NBA does this more than the Miami Heat, but OKC is secretly giving the Heatles a run for their money. For everyone's sake, let's hope this one part of the growing process they eventually grow out of.
ONE MORE NOTE ON MAVS-THUNDER
WATCH THIS SERIES. First, because at this point it's probably a safe bet to say that every game is going to come down to the final minute or two. Plus, even if OKC's firmly in control, watching Dirk and Jason Terry try to win it by themselves is worth it for the spectacle alone.
Then on the other end, watching OKC evolve in crunch time continues to be one of the NBA's most fascinating ongoing subplots. Can Russ get Durant involved? Should Harden have the ball in his hands more? Should KD be starting the post? Should they fire Scotty Brooks? These are questions we ask when they win. That's how undefined OKC's future is right now. We're looking at the seeds of a dynasty, only we're still not totally sure what it's going to look like.
Anyway, watching the Mavs is like watching an action movie where you don't have to think. Just sit back root for the overmatched heroes to do something incredible. The Thunder are the drama where you overthink everything and you're not totally sure who you should be rooting for, but you can't stop watching to find out where it goes. This series is great.
CHRIS BOSH WILL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS
The second best thing to come out of Miami Monday night, via @GotEm_Coach.
HEY, ORLANDO AND INDIANA!
They played, too. Really. There was a box score and everything.
TWO IMPORTANT NEWS ITEMS
- Maybe the world's grimiest breakfast sandwich right here.
- Delonte West's tattoo in that photo.
It would be so terrifying to play with or against Delonte West. For so many reasons.
FINALLY ... INSIDE THE NBA: STILL THE GREATEST
It's the perfect way to end every night of playoff hoops. But you knew that. Exhibit A:
Winer: "Big game for Ibaka." Jet: "How big?" Winer: "13 and 6." Chuck: "They made me retire when I got 13 points."— Jared Wade (@Jared_Wade) May 1, 2012
Exhibit B: Rick Carlisle says"bullshit" in a live press conference, followed by this exchange.
Matt Winer: "Apologies for the language there from Rick Carlisle."
Barkley: "People have heard worse."
Kenny: [Points to Chuck] "He knows every viewer. He does."
Winer: "He has an Emmy, you know."
Barkley: "I know these people have listened to rap music before."
Kenny: "Why's it gotta be rap music? They don't curse in other music?"
Kenny: "Yeah they do."
Barkley: "Like who?"
Kenny: "Rock music."
Barkley: "What do you know, rock music-wise?"
Kenny: "I know a lotta rock."
Barkley: "Name one."
Kenny: "Led Zeppelin"
Barkley: "You been to see Led Zeppelin?"
Kenny: "Back in the day, back in the day."
Winer: "You didn't see Led Zeppelin."
Kenny: "Yes I did. Back in the day. The Who, Pink Floyd Off The Wall."
Winer: [trying to tease the commercial, bursts out laughing] Not Off The Wall."
Kenny: "Oh that was Michael Jackson, my bad. THE Wall, THE Wall. I had the jacket with the wall on it. That was the album cover. I like that album cover. Don't doubt my music game..."
[fade to commercial]
There's a reason these guys win an Emmy every single year.
Jeffrey Phelps/NBAE via Getty Images
Playoff Talking Points is a daily series bringing you a look at the sights and sounds of the NBA Playoffs. Read Monday's entry here.