Amare Stoudemire scored six points and had one rebound in his first minutes… (Bill Kostroun / Associated…)
According to the New York Times' Off the Dribble Blog, Amar'e Stoudemire took a shot at Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni.
Stoudemire, who played for D'Antoni both with the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, told reporters at Knicks practice, "I've never been taught defense in my whole career."
D'Antoni has been credited by some as a revolutionary offensive coach but he is rarely given credit on the defensive end. Stoudemire hasn't built up much of a reputation as a defender, despite his All-Star credentials.
Knicks Coach Mike Woodson has the Knicks currently at 21-10.
"I think having a defensive coach for the first time in my career is going to help," said Stoudemire of Woodson.
While the Knicks certainly have a better record this season, the Lakers (15-16) have held teams to 44.6% shooting while New York has allowed 45.7%. Then again, the Lakers allow 100.3 points a game while the Knicks are stingier at 97.2.
D'Antoni certainly has a lot to prove as coach of the Lakers, especially with some of the team's defensive shortcomings (present since before his arrival).
In response to Stoudemire's comments, John Schuhmann, of NBA.com' Hang Time Blog, pondered on Twitter, "I wonder how Shawn Marion learned to be such a good defender without anyone to teach him."
Marion and guard Raja Bell were both capable defensive stoppers for D'Antoni in Phoenix.
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Email Eric Pincus at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.