The Miami Heat have apologized to New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire for a comment made Wednesday night by American Airlines Arena PA announcer Michael Baiamonte that poked fun at an injury Stoudemire suffered last week.
When Stoudemire was charged with his sixth foul and ejected from Game 5 of the Heat-Knicks playoff series, Baiamonte announced to the crowd, "Offensive foul on the Knicks! On Amare Stoudemire! That's his sixth! He has been extinguished from the game."
After Game 2 of the series, Stoudemire cut his hand open when he punched a glass fire extinguisher enclosure in the arena's visitor locker room. The injury required multiple stitches and forced him to miss Game 3 of the series.
The Heat issued the following statement on Thursday: "Last night at our game, our PA Announcer had a momentary lapse of judgment and used a poor choice of words in describing Amare Stoudemire's fouling out of the game. 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 Amare and the New York Knicks for the inappropriate choice of words."
Not that Amare was totally innocent in the entire affair. Right before Baiamonte made the call, Stoudemire reached out his hand to help the Heat's Shane Battier up, then quickly retracted it at the last second. He had been called for an offensive foul after knocking Battier to the ground.
After the game, Stoudemire was asked about the call, but he laughed it off. Baiamonte, however, was privately reprimanded for the team.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Baiamonte works off of a script during the game that is preapproved by the team. Usually when an opposing player fouls out, Baiamonte says he has been "disqualified," while the Ray Charles song "Hit the Road Jack" plays in the arena.
Baiamonte has been the Heat's PA announcer since 1990, and is known for his trademark "Dos Minutos!" call at the two-minute mark of every quarter. While his bosses are probably annoyed that they had to apologize for him, the "extinguished" comment likely improved his already-beloved status among Heat fans.