Friday, November 26th, 2010 at 11:30 am  |  38 responses

Amar’e Stoudemire: ‘I Was Never Taught Defense’

Stoudemire tells the NY press corps that he wasn’t properly coached on how to play defense (what up, Mike D’Antoni!), but that he’s made it a priority this season to defend and grab boards. From the NY Daily News: “Stoudemire says defense is more of a priority than at any point in his career as he proved on Wednesday with six blocked shots against the Bobcats. He’s still not a great one-on-one defender but Stoudemire produced the defensive play of the game by rejecting Stephen Jackson’s potential go-ahead dunk with 35 seconds left after Jackson had driven past Danilo Gallinari on the perimeter. ‘When trying to win ball games, defense is what does it,’ Stoudemire said. ‘Getting stops, getting rebounds … it’s imperative for me to bring that defensive intensity.’ The falling out D’Antoni and Stoudemire had in Phoenix centered on D’Antoni feeling that Stoudemire lacked focus on defense. The irony of course is that D’Antoni has a reputation for not stressing defense (although he’ll gladly debate anyone who says just that.) Stoudemire doesn’t argue that his reputation as a poor defensive player was well deserved and seemed to suggest that D’Antoni was indirectly responsible. ‘It was fair,’ he said. ‘I was never taught defense. I just never was taught it in high school and also in the NBA.’ Stoudemire added that prior to his final season with the Suns ‘I took it upon myself to get better defensively’ and that Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry was responsible for that new outlook. ‘I’ve got to give it to Alvin Gentry,’ Stoudemire added. ‘He really implemented some strategies that were helpful to me. I took what I learned last year and carried it over to this year.’”

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  • The Philosopher

    Should have went to college… learn some defense.
    He says he carries some defensive strategies from Gentry while letting Blake Griffin light his ass up.
    I’ll never forget the image of Sean Rooks tuning out Gentry during a Clippers practice. It was too funny.
    Nash’s greatness makes players and coaches alike look better than what they really are, apparently.
    In my opinion.

  • rainman

    ya think? Thanks Coach D’aintoni.

    A player that left a great situation in Phoenix because he wanted the big bucks is Coached by some1 who left a great situation in Phoenix because he didnt want to put an emphasis on Defense.

    That’ll happen lol

  • The Philosopher

    And, D’antoni just got thrown under the bus again.
    Tic… toc… tic…

  • http://www.twitter.com/xpotatotitsx mersh

    isn’t this the same amar’e stoudemire who said he was going to ‘hulk out’ against the celtics a couple of years ago and then only managed to pull down 1 board and score in single digits? i’ll always see this guy as a poor man’s KG.

  • letsmotor

    like this wasn’t obvious? maybe the next headline will be that pau gasol was never taught personal grooming.

  • tRay

    Jesus Christ Amare this has to be the gayest thing you’ve said so far.

  • Clydesays

    Amare should really spread out his excuses. He’s going to run out o them before the season is over…

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    One of my favorite players in the league, but that quote is really hilarious.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    D’Antoni was never taught defense either.

  • Sparty’s Law

    It’s not up to NBA coaches to teach players making millions of dollars how to play defense. This one is all on you, Amare.

  • huh

    oh…so it was not his fault
    now i understand poor amar““““““e

  • guest

    Watched an episode on Hoarders last night, where one woman made the excuse that nobody ever taught her how to arrange household items. Sounds about just as valid an excuse. So much of playing good defense is just caring about it. Anybody whose nickname is “Stat” obviously doesn’t care about defense because it doesn’t show up in the box score.

  • Noel

    Reminds me of when that NHL coach confessed he was illiterate.
    Hopefully this will give Bosh, Nash, Z-Bo, VC, Eddy Curry, Kyle Korver and others the courage to come forward

  • ShadiestBen

    Stoudemire has been playing phenomenal ball lately. Although it should not be forgotten that he was the one responsible for Kev Love’s 30 for 30 (part of the credit should go to Kev).
    If he were in a system that placed more emphasis on that side of the ball he could be a very good defender.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    ^ And Boozer…oh wait, Coach K, Jerry Sloan, Tom Thibodeau…never mind, Boozer can’t use that excuse.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    lol at Noel

  • ShadiestBen

    Hey you don’t know how Boozer is going to play on D this year.

  • bdub

    Funny how he says his defense has improved since he decided to make it a priority. Did he realise now that its 80% attitude? smh

  • MikeC.

    As professionals, the onus is upon them to seek out advice and help. If Amare was truly interested in playing D, he would have called up Hakeem or Ewing or Oak in the offseason to get some tips and tutoring. When you’re a pro, it’s at least up to you to ask for help instead of just waiting around for someone to offer.

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  • bdub


  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Nash taught him how to play d. Nash taught amare everything, remember

  • Sarah

    lol it shows

  • Hammer

    Its all about WANTING 2 learn 2 play D and wanting 2 b a better player. No diff than somebody wanting 2 learn all that there is 2 learn @ their job 2 become a better worker. Inexcusable excuse. He never wanted 2 play D but he sure wants the $. If he really wanted 2 learn he wouldve long @ss time ago. Idiota!

  • Groves

    Ignoring the quote for a minute.. i’ve been impressed by his emphasis on improving his defense and rebounding… keep working amare, your earning your dollars. Soon enough you will legitimately be the man in NY, even if they do get another star to help you will be like paul pierce is in Boston

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    What I don’t get is….he got one and a half seasons with the one guy that has taught him anything about defense….. and gone back to the coach that doesn’t teach defense out of principle?????? All for the $$$.

  • JalepinoSausage

    Groves i like your funny enthusiasm, looks like Tarzan taught you how to comprehend b-ball. As a pro baller ,you shouldn’t say stuff like that. It makes you look like a effin’ chump. If you haven’t learned it by now, youre hoping to learn it from D Antoni ? Build your skillz B!(h !! I never thought i’d say it about the guy but F***!N’ SELL OUT 4 Real! U deserve to be on the Knicks.

  • thegfunk

    He should teach himself, Like most kids on the street have to

  • Justin

    I think it’s funny he says he wasn’t taught defense in high school. You’re taught how to box out and get position under the hoop. He was probably too athletic and strong to have to worry about it then. It isn’t exactly like this is the first or second year he’s heard about how bad his defense is. He should have listened years ago and done something about it before now. Maybe the Suns at least make the Finals, he gets the money he was wanting in Phoenix and doesn’t go to New York.

  • letsmotor

    cosign thegfunk

  • RedRum

    most ridiculous excuse I have ever heard…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2010/08/video-michael-jordans-love-of-the-game/ notblack

    I thinks that he was trying to say that the system did not allow him to play through D. Dont get it twisted. i did not say he can play d well. But me thinks this was the issue. I dunno. Plus i think his lack of lateral movement skill makes probles for him. correct me if im wrong.

  • Dillantradamus

    Congrats A’mare, happy you realized this NOW. Would have been great as a Suns fan to see you actually playing defense all through the playoffs last season. Not to mention every game since you got drafted!

  • Clydesays

    I was talking to a friend about that quote. He said it’s like some major corporation hired someone to run things, and after the contract was signed he said “Thanks! Great to be here! By the way, I have no idea how to do this job….”

  • dsleepy

    i saw the headline and then wondered why it was even a headline at all. this is like opening a newspaper and seeing the line “yao ming is tall.”

  • Yes.We.Did.

    “I was never taught defense in high school”

    Yeah, because you need to explain blocking shots and getting rebounds to 6 ft 9, long arms, and explosive leaping ability. Give. Me. A. Break.

  • jufu

    …they teach defense now?

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