Former Phoenix Suns All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire sat down with Sport5 to talk about his “open search” in Israel and his connection to Judaism. Henry Abbott of TrueHoop shared his take on Stoudemire’s journey and dug deeper into what he said in the interview above. Here’s an excerpt from Abbott:
I salute his boldness.
He’s someone who makes his money from being a warrior — a tough guy who does not traffic in half-measures — and yet is willing to expose himself as something of a wanderer — a young person in seek of meaning, and open-minded about where to find it.
He has a yarmulke, he has a star of David tattoo, and when asked if he’s Jewish, he has this answer: “Through history, I think we all are. It’s a beautiful culture, it’s the original culture. From a spirituality standpoint, this is where it all started. I feel blessed to be able to come to this understanding at a young age.”
But while Abbott does compliment Stoudemire and state that he’s probably having a more meaningful summer than any other NBA player, he also questions his motives because of his history of blowing smoke.
Maybe I’m being a jerk for even bringing this up.
I just really hope Stoudemire isn’t playing around. Not that I suspect he’s being the slightest bit insincere, but when I hope he’s not going to cycle too quickly through this passion and on to the next, and the next after that. On the topics of faith, people take things pretty seriously! If, in a few months, we learn Stoudemire’s greatest passion is no longer Judaism but is instead motorcycle racing or opera then he’ll score points as a worldly dude, but he may also bruise some feelings among those who were excited to observe the high holy days with the Knicks’ power forward.
And I only bring this up because Stoudemire has a track record of being a little loose about how and what he gets into. For instance, there’s a broadway show called Rock of Ages which celebrates songs like “We Built This City on Rock and Roll” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” That’s not news, but for some time various people in basketball have been telling me that they went to see that show because they got tickets from that show’s producer, who happens to be sports agent Happy Walters. Walters is a huge name in the music world, and it’s pretty common knowledge that that’s Walters’ show. …
… I’m having a hard time trusting Stoudemire to tell me the difference between his passing fancies and his life passions. They all sound similar out of his mouth.
Is his commitment to Judaism more or less meaningful than his impassioned tweet about Jesus Christ a few weeks ago?