If you’re a normal person, you’re probably unaware that Amar’e Stoudemire had an hour long documentary, In the Moment, released on Epix back in April. I stumbled upon the documentary on Netflix the other night and decided to check it out, the thought being, “It’s the offseason, and besides, I really want to rediscover the Amar’e love of 2010-2011. So what the hell?”
The documentary begins with a mix of STAT highlights and a monologue about winning a championship. It’s pretty clear Amar’e is not the most comfortable guy with one-on-one interviews — or the most realistic — but as the film goes on, he gets better.
What he does do is go into some startling specifics about his childhood. His mother was in-and-out of jail for the majority of Amare’s formative years, and it is revealed that she actually tried to abort Amare at one point during her pregnancy. STAT then talks a little bit about the passing of his father, and how much of an emotional wall Amare built as a kid because he never really found it in him to cry.
We then get to see some of STAT’s old high school tapes — footage that makes Amare look like Dwight Howard amongst boys. He was just so much bigger and stronger then everyone on the court, and it showed. At one point, Amare’s mother talks about trying to persuade Amare not go to college, and declare instead for the NBA Draft.
The best part of the documentary, to my mind, is the look-in at Amare’s current family, and how good he is not only with his own kids, but all the kids and fans he encounters. For what it’s worth, Amar’e always seems to have a smile on face when meeting fans — a look vastly different from the one we normally see, particularly in interviews where his injuries and disappointing last few seasons are discussed.
Footage of STAT’s workouts with Hakeem are short, but the one thing I took away from the highlights was that Hakeem, even at 50 years old, could still beat Amar’e — along with a lot of NBA players — one-on-one. It should also be noted that Hakeem’s spectacular ranch has been added to my bucket list of places to visit.
One other positive aspect of the documentary is the insight into Amare’s children’s book, and the tour he’s undertaken to encourage kids to take up reading. Yes, a lot of professional athletes do this, but Amar’e definitely exudes that this is a very important pillar in his life.
The greatest — and worst — moment of the documentary came when one of Amare’s young fans was talking about Amar’e and commented, “He’s always going to log out those minutes you want him to.” I don’t think the camera guy had the heart to pull him aside and give him the bad news.
In the Moment isn’t exactly groundbreaking, and a lot of the information is stuff most fans already know, but there are definitely some cool tidbits in the film that make it worth watching — particularly if your view of Amare has shifted more towards the negative. It’s not going to win any Oscars, but this film will definitely help many fans rediscover why they liked Amar’e in the first place.