Credit: AP, AFP-Scanpix
Credit AP, AFP-Scanpix

Amar'e Stoudemire is leaving his player development assistant post with the Brooklyn Nets and said the franchise needs to take a harder stance against star guard Kyrie Irving, via ESPN.

Irving was limited to road games for the majority of the season because of his view on the COVID-19 vaccination and the City of New York policy that kept him off the court for games in Brooklyn. He played 29 regular-season games in 2021-22.

A seven-time All-Star guard, Irving averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.4 rebounds this campaign. He scored a career-high 60 points in a 150-108 win against the Magic in Orlando on March 15.

"It definitely hurt us because we didn't have consistency enough with Kyrie to build chemistry with the group, with the team. He's playing only away games depending on which city it is, can't play in New York, therefore we had different lineups and different matchups depending on the game schedule.

So, it made it difficult for us, coaches, to figure out who's going to play in spite of Kyrie. It was difficult to manage that so yeah, it was part of that," ⁠Stoudemire spoke on ESPN's morning talk shows.

The 39-year-old ex-NBA player also had some words to say on former Nets star James Harden, who isn't "in good shape", doesn't "take his body seriously" and "not being able to be focus on that in the off-season and getting yourself prepared in training camp and through the season and get to this point. And I don't think that happened for him this past off-season and throughout this season."

Moreover, Stoudemire said that if he was the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, he'd be very wary of handing Harden a max contract.

"I cannot commit to that if I'm the owner of the Sixers, I just don't see the dedication that I will need to see from one of the top 75 players. In Game 6, you're going to need him to play at a high level and if he's not capable of that, and as a max player, I'm not now willing to now give you a max contract if you're not showing me you can handle this situation," six-time NBA All-Star concluded.

A three-time scoring champion, James Harden, registered 21.0 points, 10.5 assists, and 7.1 rebounds in 21 regular-season duels since being acquired from the Brooklyn Nets at the trade deadline.

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3-pointers this season

37%
11,7
Points made: 11,7
Accuracy: 36,5%
Place in standings: 20
Record max: 23
Record min: 4
Most made 3FGs: Georges Niang