Amar'e Stoudemire lounged in a the back corner at Guastavino’s, legs kicked up showing off his new sneaks, arms spanning the entire length of the couch as light blue shaded the walls of the decorated room. In support of the Boys and Girls Club, Stoudemire hosted the launch of Activision’s industry-altering video game Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure last Friday. After practicaly folding over for pictures on the red carpet, the former NBA Rookie of the Year and six-time NBA All-Star took some time with Complex to discuss the vast array of enterprises he's been involved with during the lockout.
What’s your connection with Skylanders?
Amar'e Stoudemire: I got a phone call and it happened to be a good fit. This is a new way to play video games now. It introduces toys to the actual game, so you get the best of both worlds.
Have you played it?
Amar'e Stoudemire: Yeah, I played it. I couldn’t get past the first stage. So I think these kids are a lot more advanced with the game.
What were the BET Awards like?
Amar'e Stoudemire: They were great. I got a phone call from T.I. saying that he wanted me to come out and support him for his release. So I said, you know what? Why not? So, I flew out there and presented the award and hung out with him, gave him a new fresh pair of the Nike Air Sweep Thrus. It was great.
What’s his attitude like?
Amar'e Stoudemire: He’s great man. He’s totally positive. He’s on the right track for sure.
Talk about having this new sneaker release.
Amar'e Stoudemire: The sneakers are great, man. This is a great performance shoe and also a lifestyle shoe. You can wear them with jeans, as I have on tonight, and it’s still casual and it fits. You don’t find too many shoes that you can wear off the court as well. These are definitely nice. It’s like the video game, you get the best of both worlds.
Are you and Melo competing right now with the release of his new shoe?
Amar'e Stoudemire: He just released his shoe also, with the Jordan brand, which is a very hot shoe as well.
Is there a little competition there?
Amar'e Stoudemire: Well, my shoe’s already pretty much sold out... [Laughs]
You were on the cover of Gotham recently. What was that like being chosen for a New York magazine?
Amar'e Stoudemire: It’s great, man. New York has totally embraced me for making a stand to come here to New York and to help bring back the city and the Knicks. My job is simple. I just have to continue to play hard for the fans, continue to improve and stay healthy. That’s the ultimate goal for myself and that’s what I’m trying to do.
How are you keeping yourself busy?
Amar'e Stoudemire: Where do I start? I’m acting, I have a children’s book out, I have my clothing line...
What’s your children’s book all about?
Amar'e Stoudemire: It’s being released, it’s called Home Court. It’s through Scholastics. But I’ve been acting a lot lately with Entourage and a show called The Exes. I’ve been in school studying all the time, so continuing my studies most importantly.
What are you studying?
Amar'e Stoudemire: Ancient history. I’m actually studying all history.
How’s that going?
Amar'e Stoudemire: It’s been working great.
Where are you going to school?
Amar'e Stoudemire: I’m down at FIU (Florida International University).
So, what’s your children’s book about?
Amar'e Stoudemire: It’s an anti-bully book. It’s about being able to overcome bullies. For me, I was able to do it in my book, and I gave examples on how to achieve that.
What’s an example of how to achieve that?
Amar'e Stoudemire: You have to buy the book and read the story. [Laughs]
Talk about your new fashion line that’s out now.
Amar'e Stoudemire: I released my fashion line last month and it turned out great. It’s sold out right now at Macy’s.
What’s that feeling like having sold out clothes, sold out shoes, just basically being everywhere right now?
Amar'e Stoudemire: It’s good, man. It’s a phenomenal feeling. I just stay humble. I just want to continue to give the fans what they want and keep reaching out to the youth.
Being able to do all of these things right now, are any of the players saying that it’s kind of nice to be able to try other things other than all basketball all the time?
Amar'e Stoudemire: I just want to play, man. That’s the ultimate goal is to play. But you have to find ways to occupy your time when you’re not playing. And that’s what I’m doing, just continuing to act, continuing to release collections and stay positive, stay teaching the community.
Do you think you have a future after basketball in acting?
Amar'e Stoudemire: Absolutely, for sure.
What was the response from Entourage?
Amar'e Stoudemire: It was a great response. I started getting more phone calls about appearing on other shows. After that I went out to L.A. and filmed a show called The Exes, and I’m continuing to get more phone calls now.
Your nickname, The Renaissance Man, was given by Nike. How did that come about?
Amar'e Stoudemire: They did a sit-down interview with me out of Shanghai, China and they pretty much got into my head and went through all of my interests and what is of most importance to me. They realized that basketball is not necessarily me. It’s the career that I do, and I love doing it, but there’s so much more than just being an athlete. And they noticed that, so they came back with this presentation calling me The Renaissance Man, so it’s pretty cool.
Do you think that being able to do all these things now has been able to portray that to everybody else?
Amar'e Stoudemire: I hope what this does now, this Renaissance Man name, is let the youth know that it’s far more than being an athlete. A lot of folks think of an athlete and just look at the physical attributes and what that person will do on the court or the field, but there’s a lot more than that. So you have to understand that you have to try to achieve greatness not just on the basketball court or the field or within your athletics.
Finally, what’s the status for the lockout.?
Amar'e Stoudemire: Right now we’re on different pages. Hopefully, we come together soon to figure something out, but until then, we just have to stay active.
Do you feel like the owners are trying to screw the players over? It seems that way from all the reactions on Twitter.
Amar'e Stoudemire: We don’t know the details of what’s really going on, but I think for us is that we have to try to figure out a way to keep the economy high, keep the fans active and play basketball. Just keep the fans involved in basketball and keep the love of the game at an all-time high. That’s were it is now, and we want to keep it there.