Last night at Marquee, Amar’e Stoudemire unveiled his candid documentary, Amar’e Stoudemire: In the Moment. In conjunction with EPIX, the documentary — premiering tonight — highlights Amare’s troubling childhood, which stemmed from his father’s passing to his mother’s excessive abuse on drugs to his rise as a perennial NBA All-Star. In addition to the unveiling, Stoudemire tackled questions from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith in regards to his thoughts on draft night, playing with Carmelo Anthony, and whether he would return for the opening round of the playoffs against the Boston Celtics.
Many notable stars were in attendance to pay support to the six-time All-Star. New York’s Anthony, Chris Copeland, Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert were in the building, as well as their coaching staff to watch their teammate premiere his documentary, the first time STAT had ever seen the documentary in its entirety.
“I haven’t seen it yet,” he said. “I wanted this to be very organic. I wanted the viewers to know that it’s pure. I didn’t want it edited. I didn’t want to correct anything. I wanted them to see the actual footage on how it is.”
STAT’s candor and vulnerability were on full display. His turbulent relationship with his mother’s drug usage came to light. She admitted she sold drugs and prostituted during his adolescence, and Stoudemire went far enough to describe his mother in the film as a “gangsta.”
Still, Stoudemire bypassed all the pain and become what his mother calls her “Billion Dollar Baby.” Despite playing at six different high schools, Amar’e’s talent was remarkable and garnered massive attention from NBA scouts. His decision wasn’t easy, but with his mother’s assistance and fear of his stock dropping in college due to potential injuries, he made the jump and went on to be drafted No. 9 by the Suns.
Last night, he admitted he initially wanted the Knicks to draft him with the No. 7 pick. To many’s surprise, the Knicks didn’t offer Stoudemire a workout. (His only workouts: the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, and the Houston Rockets) But when Amar’e entered the league, he came in with a bang, showcasing his incredible leaping ability, especially for his tantalizing slam over former No. 1 pick Michael Olowokandi. His favorite dunk this year? DeAndre Jordan crowning Brandon Knight.
“Yeah, oh yeah without a doubt the DeAndre Jordan dunk on my young boy Brandon Knight,” he said. “That’s my young boy, man. He came from my program out of Florida. It’s great to see him successful so far in the league. But that dunk was incredible.”