Amar’e Stoudemire 26 Points/5 Blocks Full Highlights (12/9/2014)

Amar’e Stoudemire leaned back and relaxed. There was nothing better than a warm, soothing soak in the comfort of his home, away from prying eyes and hangers-on. To an outsider, the appearance of the bathwater would be extremely alarming; it looked as if Stoudemire was cleansing himself in a tub of blood. But this was not the vital fluid of his vanquished foes, or the macabre result of some arcane sacrifice. No, it was much more benign, though perhaps not any less odd. Amar’e had submerged himself almost entirely in red wine.

It was his wife who had told him about the supposed healing powers of the “lavage du vin”. Lord knew that he needed any advantage, real or imagined, that he could get. Why not give it a shot?

It was a very romantic setting, though amorous thoughts were the last thing on his mind. A “Best of the Baroque” CD played on repeat at a low volume. The lights were dimmed, with scented candles adorning the rim of the tub. If he was going to do something crazy like this, he figured, he might as well go all out with it.

He had been performing this weekly ritual for a few months now. His teammates had no idea, his coaches had no idea, and, most importantly, the general public had no idea. Similarly, the local liquor stores were unaware of anything strange. It was not an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence for an athlete to spend thousands of dollars on fine wines.

And Amar’e only liked the finest. He had tons of money; again, if he was going to do something crazy like this, he might as well go all out with it. His formula, consisting of equal portions of Shiraz, Malbec, and Merlot, had been fine tuned to optimize his performance on the court.

As Stoudemire closed his eyes amongst the soothing music and warm wine, he heard an unwelcome voice from outside the bathroom door.

“Honey, some of your friends are here to see you!”

Amar’e sat upright in a panic. “Tell them I’m busy, sweetie, this is no time for…” Before he could finish his sentence, Cole Aldrich and Pablo Prigioni burst in.

“Hey dude, we were just wondering if… what are you doing? Is that blood?” Cole Aldrich looked amused at the scene in front of him.

“Don’t be stupid, Cole. It’s, uh, just regular water with red food coloring. Yeah. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m a vampire, you know, keeps me fierce on the court. Now, if you’ll kindly depart, I’ll see you at practice tomorrow.”

Cole and Pablo turned to leave. “Wait ’til the rest of the guys here about this! Vampires, what a psycho!” Pablo muttered to Cole as they exited, closing the door behind them.

Amar’e sank back into the tub, suddenly not feeling so relaxed. At least they didn’t know the truth.

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