Celebrity Favorites: Fat Joe
New York, New York, we back! The New York Knicks gave their fans a healthy helping of hope on Monday when they came to contractual agreement with one of the top stars in the NBA, Amar'e Stoudemire. While in their pursuit of the former Phoenix Sun, the Knicks brass called on none other than a Big Apple King to help with the recruitment: Fat Joe. recently Joe posted a photo on Twitter featuring himself, Spike Lee, Stoudemire, Chris Rock, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni and others.
"I'm a New York Knick fan, die-hard!" Joe told us. "And we been losing for a long time — like, eight years or something. The Knicks organization called me and said, 'Yo Joe, we're trying to get Amar'e.' By the way, he's my favorite player, no hype! That's who I wanted to come to New York. It's been a long time since New York had a guy to dunk on people, pound his chest, go crazy. That's my type of player. Hard body. So they was like, 'Joe, we want you to call him up, start talking to him. Tell him to come to the city, tell him how beautiful the city is.' 'Mare, I've known him for years — since he came in the league as rookie."
Joe has also known Knicks owner James Dolan for many years — the leader of the Terror Squad said after the Knicks front office called, he put the full-court press on Stoudemire.
"When I called [Amar'e], he was like, 'Fat Joe.' He already knew it was me," Joe recalled. "I was like, 'We need you, we need you!' I did my greatest Khaled rendition ever created. 'I gotta have you. You're killing me, I'm gonna die. I need oxygen!' He was like, 'Joe calm down. It might happen. Calm down.' It was a great experience."
Finally, after all the wooing and a $100 million contract offer, Stoudemire agreed to come play at Madison Square Garden for the upcoming season. His commitment was celebrated Monday night at a dinner in New York.
"So then they called me up and said, 'He's gonna sign. We want you to come to the first meal,' " Joe recalled. "So after I came in there, it was small — Spike, Chris Rock, Allen Houston, John Starks, Carl Banks, [Michael] Strahan — then you had the coaches and the owners and Fat Joe representing that hip-hop side of things. It was an honor for me. I always remember when I used to go the Garden and I was in the nosebleeds — and Jordan and Ewing looked this small from up there. Now I sit on the woods. To have them call me and be like, 'Joe, we need you to go in on Amar'e,' it was an honor."
Joe's headhunting isn't done — he's been talking to other NBA superstars in his own time to convince them to play in his hometown.
"I can't sleep," Joe said of all the speculation over where top NBA free agents such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will land. "I been talking to Carmelo [Anthony] since the Puerto Rican Day parade. I been hammering on his head like, 'We need you.' He loves the city. I was in France talking to Chris Paul and Tony Parker, like, 'Yo, we need y'all to come.' I'm going in. This is the most exciting time I ever experienced on a free-agency level. Just to know where LeBron is going. Carmelo said he might leave. Wade! Who's coming to the Knicks? We lost the last three or four years with them telling us they was going to make big moves this summer. There's been a lot of pressure on the Knicks organization to pull something off and they told me last night, 'We're not done, Joe.' I'm like, 'Please man, I got my guy Amar'e, but we need a team around him as well.' "
James, Wade and Bosh are all free agents, free to sign with any NBA team. Their main suitors have been the Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. Meanwhile, Anthony, Bosh and Parker are still under contract to their respective teams, but have been the subject of trades around the NBA rumor mill.