Only a few days ago, Amar’e signed a one-day contract with the Knicks to retire as a New Yorker (pissed off soooo many Phoenix fans, but it’s Phoenix so who cares). But now, ESPN’s Mrc Stein’s reporting that he’s headed to Israel to play for Hapoel Jerusalem B.C.
Everyone’s going to see this as a “last chance motel” situation, where a star couldn’t find anywhere else to play so he’ll go overseas and get a museum after 5 years (shoutout Steh Marbury). But there’s more levels to it than just that.
First off, Amar’e’s always considered himself “culturally Jewish”, since his mother’s jewish. In the past, he even called a former trip of his to Israel a “pilgrimage he needed to make”. And as well, he partially owns the team, so we’ve got a Manny Pacquiao-type situation.
And last, if I’m an aging basketball player, I’d have the time of my life after my career ended. If I can get payed a few million too play in different spots around the world, why wouldn’t I? And if you love travel, why wouldn’t you? Because as exciting as playing games in Cleveland or Denver might be, think about getting to hoop in Jerusalem.