A few days ago, Amar’e Stoudemire claimed that this (currently, under Mike Woodson) is the first time in his career that he is being taught defense. Amar’e has been coached by Mike D’Antoni for the majority of his career (in Phoenix and NY), so whether he intended to or not, he threw D’Antoni under the bus.
D’Antoni caught wind of Stoudemire’s comments and had a few things to say. None of which disprove what Amar’e is saying, according to the NY Times. It almost sounds as if he agrees.
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.”