You can’t pick family but family shouldn’t be this type of a burden either

Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire's mom, Carrie, was arrested on Saturday for drunk driving. (Photo courtesy of the Scottsdale Police Department)

By Gregory Moore

We have all been there sometime in our lives.

A family member is in trouble and needs our help.

For some it is just a friendly voice but for others it means keeping Uncle Tookie out of the pokey for the weekend.

And it’s probably very draining to a lot of us.

But no one can be prepared for the onslaught of family problems like what professional athletes deal with; especially the young cats like Amare Stoudemire and LeBron James.

When you’ve made it in pro sports, one would think that life would be so much easier but evidently it just gets more complicated by the second. For these young guys, James and Amare, life can’t get any more crazier than to be reading about the exploits of your mother in the print.

In James’ case there is the rumor floating around that his mom, Gloria, has been doing the humpty dance with Cavs’ teammate Delonte West.

Whether this rumor is true or not isn’t the gist of the storyline; it’s the mere mention of such type of storyline in the first place.

We all want some sense of privacy but for famous individuals, that sense of privacy is thrown out the window by every blogger, vlogger, and want to be Scoop Mirsk of the journalist world.

And while the James story may be nothing more than viral nonsense, the story about Stoudemire’s mom isn’t.

It is being reported by several news organizations that Carrie Stoudemire was arrested Saturday for drunk driving.

According to the Arizona Republic: ” Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire’s mother was arrested Saturday for failing to have an ignition interlock device on her vehicle, Scottsdale police said. A Scottsdale police officer stopped Carrie Mae Stoudemire, 54, about 3:25 p.m. Saturday near 116th Street and Shea Boulevard, according to the police report. Carrie Stoudemire’s Lincoln Navigator was straddling two lanes and was going about 60 mph eastbound on Shea Boulevard, police said.”

This right here is some serious ‘ish’ and it is undoubtedly very disturbing to the Suns’ star.

For most of his teen life, he has had to deal with his mother’s problems of being in jail for drug possession, drunk driving and even prostitution. And those problems still followed him to Phoenix when in 2006 his mother was in trouble again.

In a 2006 article written by John Dougherty of the Phoenix New Times paper entitled, “Amare’s Burden“, his mother’s troubles are well documented and shed some light as to the burden that the young man is carrying around with him right now.

In this piece, the author talks about the elusive stable family life that Stoudemire wants; especially after his micro fracture surgery that year.

“Not only is the 6-foot-10, 245-pound Stoudemire carrying the hopes and dreams of Suns fans on his prodigious shoulders, he must also deal with another monumental task this spring: He must try to keep his mother out of prison in Arizona. It now appears that Carrie Stoudemire‘s habitual problems with the law have had a direct effect on Amaré Stoudemire’s relationship with the Suns.”

Troublesome childhoods aren’t a new storyline in pro sports.

There are players who have had similar situations happen to them as well.

How can anyone forget the story about Dez Bryant and the allegations that he told a Miami Dolphins official that his mother was a prostitute because his father was a pimp.

And while those stories about these players are indeed tragic, what is even worse is when family members abuse these young men who are trying to help them.

Such is the case of Stoudemire’s mom.

To be given a salary of $10,000 a month from your son to be the ‘CEO’ of his company should be telling someone like Carrie to slow your roll.

But it didn’t and it hasn’t.

Like all well wishing things that rich sons do for family members, it only exacerbated the problem that everyone wanted to squash and makes the rich son an enabler to the habit of that family member.

This latest arrest of Carrie Stoudemire is only one in a long line of arrests that seem to get squashed.

From Dougherty’s piece, here is a recount of a 2003 incident of a similar pattern from this past Saturday.

” Not long after coming to town, she was arrested on February 23, 2003, and charged with two felony counts of aggravated DUI after Phoenix police pulled her over for weaving and erratic lane changes. She was accused of drunk driving with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle — a felony offense. Her 14-year-old son, Marwan, was in the car. Carrie was found guilty of two felony DUI counts on September 11, 2003, and sentenced to 10 days in jail and five years on probation.”

That happened in 2003 and as you continue to read the story, you will find out that she has been arrested some 23 times in her life in both Arizona and Florida.

Amare’s life shouldn’t be like this.

No professional athlete’s life should be like this.

It’s one thing to be the bread winner of the family but how can anyone expect these young men to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities when you have albatrosses like a mom who has a drinking and drug problem at your feet and about your neck?

You can’t.

And with the playoffs going on right now and with him trying to help his team tie up a series against the vaunted Los Angeles Lakers, this type of problem shouldn’t even be on his radar screen.

But it is and it is probably troubling and bothersome to him.

There is a solution to this problem but Amare probably doesn’t even want to think of that choice.

He could just completely cut his mother out of his life and have other family members do the same.

Yet that’s not who he is and he shouldn’t have to be forced to make that type of decision.

Which is why it is hard to think that his mother would do the right thing for her son.

He’s tried to help her but she won’t even help herself; let alone her child who has given her the world despite her screw-ups.

Amare shouldn’t have to pick and choose his family and who he hangs around with but sadly that is what he and so many other professional athletes and/or celebrities end up doing in the end.

Because sometimes while you can’t pick your family when you’re young; as an adult you can make those decisions that best benefit your house.


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