Alipour’s Stoudemire SportsCenter sit-down spills over

Amar’e Stoudemire during vinotherapy with ESPN the Magazine senior writer Sam Alipour. (Aaron Johnson)
Amar’e Stoudemire takes vinotherapy with ESPN the Magazine senior writer Sam Alipour.
(Aaron Johnson)
ESPN has NBA All-Star Weekend covered

ESPN will have a significant on-site presence in New York City, Feb.13-15, for NBA All-Star 2015. Three popular ESPN shows will emanate from the “Big Apple,” highlighted by SportsCenter with host Sage Steele and analysts Chauncey Billups – a five-time All-Star – and Tim Legler. For more details, visit ESPNMediaZone.

Fans of the iconic sitcom “Seinfeld” will remember the episode in which Cosmo Kramer bathed himself in butter to soothe his skin – eventually becoming a golden brown. New York Knicks big man and All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has discovered his own remedy for the aches and pains of a long NBA career: vinotherapy.

Beginning today, SportsCenter airs a lighthearted feature on Stoudemire’s practice of submerging his 6-foot-10, 245-pound body in a tub of red wine at a New York City spa. He’s interviewed by ESPN the Magazine senior writer Sam Alipour.

Last fall, Stoudemire posted a selfie of his wine bath, and an ESPN.com piece chronicled his reasons for the practice. Alipour then pursued the idea of a SportsCenter feature.

“Sam’s been working on it for a long time, trying to nail down the details,” said Glenn Jacobs, senior coordinating producer, SportsCenter New and Next, who oversaw the production. “It’s not the most logistically-simple piece to do under the best circumstances, and they actually were shooting it around the anticipated blizzard a couple of weeks ago.”

After Stoudemire agreed to participate, arrangements were made to shoot in the spa where he gets his vinotherapy. (Stoudemire wished for the location to remain secret.) But Alipour, Jacobs and producer Aaron Johnson had a particular question on their minds:

To us, the big question in the lead-up was, could Sam actually get in the tub with Amar’e?
Glenn Jacobs, senior coordinating producer, SportsCenter New and Next

“To us, the big question in the lead-up was, could Sam actually get in the tub with Amar’e?” Jacobs said. “Was there enough room? How would that work?

“Turns out the tub was gigantic, so they were able to make it work and Amar’e was willing to play along.”

Jacobs toasted the piece, saying it’s an example of SportsCenter’s strategy of “spilling” unique and interesting stories.

“This is certainly something that I think when the viewer sees they’re going to want to stop and watch,” he said. “It’s going to catch your eye. It’s not every day when you see a giant NBA star lying in a vat of red wine.”

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