New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire has returned to the team’s lineup after missing four games due to the sad death of his older brother Hazell in a car accident at the beginning of February. Stoudemire was very close to his brother as he is with the rest of his family and at the time his coach said that it was “a trying time” and that his “thoughts and prayers were with the family”. In honour of his brother, star forward Amar’e Stoudemire has had a teardrop design inked just under his right eye.
The Message Behind the Tattoo
The teardrop tattoo was inked locally prior to the Knicks game in Toronto. Although the Knicks have had a run of successes in recent weeks, Stoudemire wanted to let people know that although he is back in form he has not forgotten his brother. After the game in Toronto Stoudemire took to his Twitter page to say “That game was for you bra, forever crying inside”. He also spoke about his loss to the New York Post saying that the tattoo is a sign that although his life will go on, he is still crying inside.
The Brotherly Relationship
Stoudemire also told the New York Post that it was his brother who introduced him to the sport of basketball. His brother was a standout basketball star whilst at High School in their home state of Florida but his career did not progress due to him getting into trouble with the law at a young age. Following a string of prison sentences Hazell crashed his speeding car into a tractor trailer and died instantly. Stoudemire had hoped to visit his home state for better reasons (the All-Stars are playing in Orlando) and although we are not sure whether he will make the team he told the New York Post “he is part of my success so I’m always crying inside”. With a brother who was a mentor, a father figure and such a large part of his life, his emotions at this time are completely understandable.
Honouring Family Members with Body Art
Amar’e Stoudemire is not the only basketball star to have chosen to honour family members with a tattoo. Toronto Raptors player Leandro Barbosa has a tattoo of his mother’s name that honours his mother inked on his lower left rib whilst another Toronto Raprots star DeMar DeRozan has a tribute to his grandmother on his right forearm. Josh Harrellson of the New York Knicks also has a tribute tattoo to a loved one – he has a large cross that covers his back in honour of his late grandfather.
The trend of honouring family members with tattoos doesn’t seem to be one that will end any time soon, and why should it? Family is at the forefront of many basketball stars’ minds with many family members being linked to the success and encouragement that has led to many of these men becoming stars.