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Last season New York Knicks’ injury prone forward Amar’e Stoudemire blamed former head coach Mike D’Antoni for his lack of post moves on offense. Recently, Stoudemire took aim at his former head coach again, this time for his defensive abilities.
According to the NY Post, Stoudemire said in an interview on Wednesday, that he was “never taught to play defense,’’ and expressed extreme excitement in Mike Woodson, because he’s “a defensive coach.”
One might argue that Stoudemire needed a good defensive coach to teach him how to play defense, but on the other hand, the coach never stopped him from learning or concentrating on it himself. Players in any league don't learn only from their coaches, especially in the pros. As a player, it is his or her responsibility to improve upon any function of the game that they lack in. So when Stoudemire blames his former coach on his deficiencies, it merely shows he’s not taking responsibility for his faults.
Yahoo! Sports reports that he also said in the interview that ”Just having a defensive coach for the first time in my career is going to help. I've never been taught defense in my whole career. To now have a coach that actually teaches defense and teaches strategies and knows positioning and posture and how to guard different plays is going to be helpful. I'm going to take it as a challenge, accept the challenge and try to improve as a player."
Stoudemire has been in the NBA for 11 years. At this point, players like him should not be blaming their deficiencies on coaches.