On Friday, Amare Stoudemire came to our San Diego motion capture studio to perform, conduct some interviews and be photographed and filmed. Decked out in a black and blue mo-cap suit fitted with numerous sensors he shot jumpers, went through his free throw routine and then he unleashed some sweet dunks. This man can dunk with power and authority! It’s one thing to watch him tear it up on TV, but in person, close up, his athleticism and speed are really amazing.
A pack of journalists followed his every move using still cameras and movie cameras with lights illuminating everything in their path to an incredible degree. In fact they were so close during his high-flying dunks I was a bit concerned – for Amare, not the camera carriers.
After throwing down a particularly nasty windmill dunk Amare was ready for a bite to eat. He asked for a blueberry muffin and some water. About 3 seconds elapsed before he had the requested snack in front of him. Now here is where I couldn’t hold in the laughter. You’d think the journalists would turn off the cameras and wait for him to grab a bite and then turn the cameras back on. No way. They continued to film him as he took a bite off his blueberry muffin and had a sip of water. I suppose it’s all in a day’s work for an NBA star but it would unnerve me to be filmed while trying to have a quick bite. Not Amare. Didn’t faze him in the slightest. He was good-natured exuding a sense of humor throughout the entire session. Not only is he an amazing baller, he’s a great guy too.
With the mo-cap session concluded, he changed out of the mo-cap suit into a Suns uniform and the two of us sat down to play a game. It was Amare and myself playing NBA 08. Very cool. Amare suggested the loser of our game had to drop and perform 10 push-ups. I agreed and it was game time. He took the Suns and I selected Seattle. During the 5-minute quarter we traded baskets pretty evenly. You can tell he’s done this before, as he has some video basketball skills in his arsenal too! There was some light-hearted trash talk during our game but when the quarter came to an end, the Sonics had a 1 point lead. He was then whisked off for interviews as I basked in the glory of my 1 quarter victory. Since the game was never played to its conclusion we’ll never know who would have had to pay off the 10 push-ups challenge, but I like to think I’d be the one counting while he did the work.