NBA Star with "Black Jesus" Neck Tattoo Might Actually be Jewish

July 30, 2010

Whoever had Amar'e Stoudemire in the “Guess which athletes will convert to Judaism” office pool just won big. The 6-foot-10 power forward recently discovered his Jewish roots and is now travelling to Israel to see if Matzah balls and basketballs are a match made in heaven. (You know, the Jewish one, where Mel Torme kicks it.)

After his invitation to join LeBron James in Miami got lost in the mail, Stoudemire decided to sign with the New York Knicks and kickstart his offseason by "getting all existential" and contemplating his roots.

Via Twitter, he called himself "the new Reggie White," saying "I'm going 2 Israel 2 study Hebrew. It's time 2 get a better understanding on who we R."

He noted that his mother has Jewish roots, and has always preached the importance of religious exploration. “She studied the Scriptures and history and she believes she is a Hebrew," he told the Associated Press Friday in Jerusalem. "I grew up in a very spiritual home. It's not about religion, it's about spirituality for me."

Thank God! I was worried that after signing a $100 million deal to play for the Knicks, it would be about rebounding and playing defense.

Photo: Jason Merrit/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images