Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Hank Berrien.
Former six-time NBA All Star and Rookie of the Year Amar'e Stoudemire, who converted to Judaism in 2020, dismissed the claims in the media for him stepping down from serving as an assistant coach, explaining that the real reason was so he could honor the Jewish Sabbath.
Some in the media had conjectured Stoudemire had a beef with Nets star Kyrie Irving after Stoudemire had said to ESPN of Irving's intermittent absences, "Yeah, I think it hurt us. It definitely hurt us because we didn't have consistency enough with Kyrie to build chemistry with the group, with the team."
Because of his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Irving wasn't allowed to play in home games until the end of the regular season. He played a total of 33 regular-season and playoff games all season.
"He's playing only away games depending which city it is ... can't play in New York ... therefore we had different lineups, different matchups depending on the game schedule,"
Stoudemire told ESPN. "So it made it difficult for us coaches to figure out who's going to play in spite of Kyrie. So it was difficult for us to manage that so yeah, it was part of that."
In his message clarifying why he left the team, Stoudemire stated, "I want to clarify something. I'm seeing articles right now popping saying 'Amar'e quits the Nets and criticizes Kyrie on his way out.' That's not the case."
"I spoke with Steve Nash before I went on ESPN,"
he said. "We had an easy mutual conversation. I spoke about me not being able to grow in the coaching space because I don't work on Shabbat and so not working on Friday night and Saturdays is difficult for anyone to grow in the coaching space because coaching's such a grind and it requires you to be there full time."
"And so for me, I wasn't able to grow in that space so I did not want to continue coaching,"
he continued. "And on the flip side, the Nets organization want people who can be there full time and I totally understand that. So therefore it was a mutual understanding between them and I. Beautiful organization. ... Amazing experience with the organization there. There's no hard feelings no way, nohow. There's no quitting nowhere on my side."
"Now, criticizing Kyrie, why would I criticize someone who's as similar as I am? I also fast during the NBA season for Yom Kippur,"
Stoudemire pointed out. "I'm also a guy who has a religious intake. I'm also a guy who's an activist who speaks about African-American communities, and so forth. So why would I criticize someone who's very similar to [who] I am."
"The media will try to turn your words against your fellow friend or organization to provide more viewers or more clicks to their article. I'm not gonna allow that to happen. You're not going to turn me against Kyrie. You're not going to turn me against the Nets. You're not gonna turn me against anyone, so you can forget about it. Peace,"
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