One lapse in judgment apparently led to another during the Miami Heat's opening-round NBA playoff series against the New York Knicks.
A week after Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire injured his left hand when he struck it against a fire-extinguisher case following New York's Game 2 loss at AmericanAirlines Arena, Heat public-address announcer Michael Baiamonte announced Stoudemire had been "extinguished" when he was disqualified with his sixth foul during the Wednesday Game 5 loss that eliminated New York.
Thursday, the Heat issued a statement apologizing for the call:
"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."
Stoudemire fouled out with 4:48 to play, on an offensive foul against Heat forward Shane Battier. After the foul, Stoudemire initially appeared to attempt to assist Battier to his feet, then quickly pulled his hand back, with Battier rising by grabbing on to Stoudemire's shorts. Stoudemire's pullback was noted on the broadcast by TNT announcer Reggie Miller.
"He puts his hand down like he wants to help him up and then takes it away. What is up with that?" Miller said on the air at the time.
Amid that scene, Baiamonte boomed of Stoudemire, "Offensive foul on the Knicks!
On Amare Stoudemire! That's his sixth! He has been extinguished, from the game!"
Following Wednesday's game, Stoudemire downplayed the "extinguished" announcement, laughing and saying he did not mind.
Baiamonte, however, was quickly personally admonished for deviating from the standard "disqualified" announcement, which at AmericanAirlines Arena is accompanied by the playing of "Hit the Road, Jack."
Known for his colorful, over-the-top calls during games, which often include announcements in Spanish, including his trademark "Dos Minutos!" call, Baiamonte generally works off a script of accepted announcements that is approved in advance by the Heat's game-operations department.
Baiamonte has been the Heat's public-address announcer since 1990.
He maintains his own website, voiceofmiami.com, which lists him as, "master of ceremonies," "sports announcer," and "voice over talent."
His website lists varies fees, including $500 for wedding or Bar Mitzvah appearances in Miami-Dade or Broward counties, $400 for in-person pre-recorded announcements for such events or $300 for a taped pre-recorded announcement for such events.
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