November 16, 1982 —
For years, New York basketball fans were waiting for their messiah. Patrick Ewing was supposed to be the guy, but he couldn't deliver a championship. LeBron James was supposed to be the guy, but after the Knicks mortgaged their entire team to get him, he took his talents to South Beach instead.
But the Knicks did one better. They got Amar'e Stoudemire.
Now, Amar'e might not be as good a player as LeBron, but he's got one thing the self-titled "King" can't touch. According to Stoudemire, he recently discovered that his mother has some Jewish roots, so he went to Israel to learn Hebrew and embrace his heritage. Amar'e says that he is not Jewish religiously (he was raised a Baptist), but considers himself Jewish "spiritually and culturally".
(The New York Jewish Athlete Lemma at work here! Note how none of it came out with Amar'e played in Phoenix. And what's the deal with that "Black Jesus" neck tattoo? But we digress.)
So welcome, New York's Jewish basketball messiah! Seriously, can you believe people wanted that clown LeBron instead?
Verdict: Barely a Jew.
July 29, 2010