Report: Former NBA All-Star Stoudemire Fitting in Well With New Team in Jerusalem, Hasn’t Asked for Preferential Treatment
Former NBA all-star forward Amar’e Stoudemire, who recently signed a two-year contract with Hapoel Jerusalem, is fitting in well with his new teammates as they prepare for the upcoming season, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Thursday.
According to the report, 33-year-old Stoudemire, who played for the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat during a 14-year NBA career, has been arriving at Malha Arena in Jerusalem two hours before each pre-season practice to work out and has not asked for any preferential treatment. He has also reportedly been the last player to leave the arena each day.
“Amar’e Stoudemire is here to work,” the nrg report said.
Despite his history of knee injuries, the report noted, Stoudemire has not shied away from physical contact during practices with his new teammates.
“Physically, he’s a kind of monster, a freak,” one of those teammates, Isaac Rosefelt, was quoted as saying. “He’s one of the most impressive athletes I’ve gotten to see in real life. He works hard and takes care of himself right. This is an athlete of the highest caliber you can ask for.”
As reported by The Algemeiner, Stoudemire was mobbed by fans during an open practice last week.
Hapoel Jerusalem posted a video on Twitter of fans jumping around Stoudemire while chanting in Hebrew. Unfamiliar with the words, he is seen pumping his fist in the air. Stoudemire, who in recent years discovered Jewish maternal roots, also waved a flag emblazoned with Hapoel Jerusalem’s logo.