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Friday, January 4th, 2013 at 9:50 am  |  16 responses

Mike D’Antoni is Happy that Amar’e Stoudemire is Finally Learning Defense


Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni took Amar’e Stoudemire’s claims that he never learned anything about defense under his tutelage in stride. D’Antoni told the press that he’s happy for STAT that he’s finally learning how to defend the opposition. Per the NY Times: “Mike D’Antoni was surprised that Amar’e Stoudemire would claim that he was not taught how to play good defense until Mike Woodson became his coach last year. Rather than taking offense at Stoudemire’s observation, D’Antoni, who coached him for eight seasons with the Suns and the Knicks, congratulated him on his new attitude. ‘I think it’s great,’ D’Antoni said Thursday after the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice. ‘I think it’s great that he’s listening. He might have forgotten that Mike Woodson was also running the defense the last year I was there, so I don’t know if he just didn’t pick that year to listen. But Amar’e’s great. Sometimes you say things, but hopefully, that’s another step he can take forward and help his game. That would be great.’ Before the Knicks faced the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, Woodson said he believed he had become a better all-around coach. ‘I’m not the best defensive coach, but I feel good about putting defensive schemes together,’ he said. Woodson also said Stoudemire, who made his season debut Tuesday, still had a lot to learn about his defensive strategies. When asked about Stoudemire’s comments — and his confidence in him to make him a better defensive-minded player — he responded with a humble comment. Woodson said: ‘If that’s how he feels, he feels that way. Again, I think Mike D’Antoni is a great coach. I think it’s tough for every coach in the league. I have a great deal of respect for all the coaches.’”

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  • greg

    people wouldnt complain about his defense so much if he was actually good at offense or rebounding as well.

  • https://twitter.com/Wayne__o BuenoWayno1

    if Amar’e wasn’t such mediocre rebounder people wouldn’t care about his lousy defense….(cough cough Kevin Love cough)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    basically, D’Antoni and Woodson are just being polite. Amar’e clearly just made a temerarious excuse

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Seriously though, a professional basketball player claiming they’re just learning to play defence is like a baseball player claiming they’re just now learning how to catch with a glove. Just straight up nonsense!

  • K_HOLIDAY

    Smart move by Amare. Deflect the blame and buy yourself some time from the fans and the media while you “learn” to play defense, even though you’ve played basketball your whole life!

  • Otis

    +1 for “temerarious”

  • bike

    Next up, Amar’e declares he is learning the chest pass. Claims no one ever showed him that one either.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol

  • spit hot fiyah

    people do care about love’s none defense, that was the number one counter argument last year when anyone said he was the best 4 in the game. this year i guess it is irrelevant since love has forgotten how to shoot a basketball

  • roscoe

    NY fans are highly knowledgeable of the game & typically intelligent… so imo they see right through amare’s BS.

    he would’ve been traded by now if possible, but no one wants him.

  • K_HOLIDAY

    I agree but doesnt mean they wont give him a little leeway while he “learns” his defense. As long as the Knicks are still winning, fans wont mind turning a blind eye to the nonsense.

  • roscoe

    i hear you… you say “leeway” and i would say “hope for the best.”

    i’d just add this… no serious fan likes seeing their team of choice pay a guy $20 Mil and not play at a high level.

    i predict boo-birds in after 5 home games of bad defense if he doesn’t figure it out.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    bazinga!

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    ahhh man, amare cmon!

  • RayJr

    Or an NFL QB not knowing how to throw…is Amare the Tim Tebow of the NBA? hmm…

  • ATL dynamite

    When will D’antoni start to learn about defense?

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