ORLANDO, Fla. -- Mike D'Antoni called Amar'e Stoudemire's statement that he had never been taught defense in his career "mind-boggling."
D'Antoni coached Stoudemire for 6½ seasons with the Suns and the Knicks. He has never been known as a defensive coach, but he got a little defensive after Stoudemire's comment Wednesday in praise of Mike Woodson, who replaced D'Antoni as Knicks coach last March.
"I don't think he meant it bad,'' D'Antoni told reporters in Los Angeles Friday. "It's mind-boggling, but I don't think he meant it bad.
"I mean, come on. He threw Frank Johnson, myself, Alvin Gentry and actually Mike Woodson [under the bus]. Was [Woodson] saving the good stuff? Because he coached him eight months and he was the defensive coach. It doesn't make any sense.''
Stoudemire, who came back this week after missing 30 games following left knee surgery, was discussing his defense when he said: "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."
Stoudemire made a similar comment about Gentry in 2010. He said Gentry was the first coach to teach him defense. Gentry replaced Terry Porter, who succeeded D'Antoni in Phoenix.
"A lot of times, players will say things just to say things," D'Antoni said. "I have a good relationship with him. He's a good guy and I [wish] him the best. You know, if he's learning, great. He needs it. That would be super. It just boggles the mind.''