Amare Stoudemire, who will appear on the cover of the upcoming NBA 08, was at SCEA's San Diego headquarters on Sept. 7 to do some motion-capture work and take an early look at the new game.
After trading his bright-yellow Beatles t-shirt for a "dotted-up" mo-cap suit, Stoudemire took to the court and started firing free-throw line jump shots. The first few clanged hard off the rim, which Stoudemire attributed to the 10 a.m. start time. He eventually found his form, saying "Uh-oh" as he reeled off a few swishes in a row and warned that all Lakers fans should leave the room.
The Sony people told Stoudemire to pick one signature dunk, and he agonized over the choice, staring at the rim and rubbing his chin before deciding to go with a two-handed reverse. Later, he asked to give it another try, even asking if the rim could be lowered to eight feet to give the dunk extra power. After a couple big windmills, he was satisfied.
Later, Stoudemire sat down to give the game a try, leading his own Phoenix Suns against one of the game's designers, controlling the Seattle Sonics. He got into it, shouting, "There you go 'Trix! The Matrix!" after he guided Shawn Marion down the lane for a dunk, and, "Oh! Steve with the putback!" following a rare offensive rebound by Steve Nash. Virtual Amare scored 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, but Stoudemire was more concerned with the player's appearance than performance.
"You know I don't wear a headband, right?" he said to the designer. GamePro caught up with Stoudemire for a quick talk in the midst of his busy day.
GP: You hear a lot about NFL guys getting the new Madden and scrutinizing their ratings. Are NBA players the same way?
Amare: Yeah. I wish all my ratings were at 99. That would be fantastic.
Are there any in particular that need adjusting? We saw you hitting the three out in Vegas (at the just-completed FIBA Americas Championship)!
You might want to notch up that 3-point rating a little bit. It's tough because the video game comes out in October, and I work on all the skills you guys haven't seen from June to October. (They) are always maybe a couple ratings behind. So if (they) want to go ahead and bump it up a notch and be ahead of the game, that would be perfect.
So who are the top gamers on the Suns?
All the young guys.
You're not one of those young guys?
Not really. I play at home if I'm just relaxing or if I'm trying to kill some time. But as far as playing against everybody and getting into the real competition, I don't really do it that much.