02/15/2012 04:30 pm ET

Amar'e Stoudemire Teardrop Tattoo: Knicks Star Honors Brother Hazell

Although the mood around the Knicks and among the team's fans has been mostly euphoric in recent days thanks to the emerge of Jeremy Lin, this has been a trying time for Amar'e Stoudemire. On Tuesday in Toronto, Stoudemire played his first game since the tragic death of his brother Hazell.

Stoudemire honored his older brother, who was killed in a car crash in Florida earlier in February, with a new teardrop tattoo right next to his right eye.

"The tear tattoo shows I'm still crying inside," he said after the Knicks' sixth straight win, via the New York Post. "It's hard to explain how close my brother was to me. He was my father figure and mentor and why I played basketball. He's part of my success so I'm always crying inside."

Despite a poor start against Toronto after missing four games, Stoudemire came just short of recording a double-double with 21 points and nine rebounds.

Honoring family with body art is nothing new in the basketball world.

In May of last year, Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis covered his entire chest with a family tree tattoo that said "Family First" at the top. Juan Dixon, who played nine seasons in the NBA after leading the University of Maryland to the 2002 NCAA national championship, has a tattoo of his mother close to his heart which he lightly touched before every free throw.