MIAMI — The Miami Heat and New York Knicks have had some interesting playoff squabbles over the years, highlighted by brawls between the teams in 1997 and 1998.
The most recent series largely was tame on the court. But it did feature Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire severely cutting his left hand after whacking the glass surrounding a fire extinguisher following a Game 2 loss at AmericanAirlines Arena. That forced him to miss Game 3 at Madison Square Garden.
Stoudemire returned Wednesday to AmericanAirlines Arena before fouling out with 4:48 left in a 106-94 loss that clinched the first-round series 4-1 for Miami. The Heat’s public-address announcer, Michael Baiamonte, uttered after the big man had been called for charging, “Amar’e Stoudemire. That’s his sixth. He has been extinguished from the game.’’
If it seemed as if the Heat were piling on Stoudemire, that was far from the case. The team issued a statement Thursday apologizing for what Baiamonte said.
“Last night at our game, our PA Announcer had a momentary lapse of judgment and used a poor choice of words in describing Amar’e Stoudemire’s fouling out of the game,’’ the statement read. “This is not who we are as an organization or who he is as an announcer. Both the Miami Heat and Michael Baiamonte apologize to Amar’e and the New York Knicks for the inappropriate choice of words.’’
Heat forward Chris Bosh said after Wednesday’s game he hadn’t heard what Baiamonte said. When told, Bosh said, “That’s messed up.’’