Lakers coach and former Knicks boss Mike D'Antoni was a little thrown by Amare Stoudemire's recent assertion that he was never taught defense before this year, as Newsday's Al Iannazzone documents. D'Antoni, who coached Stoudemire in New York and Phoenix, said he didn't think Stoudemire meant to be malicious, but still found the comment "mind-boggling" and implied that Stoudemire threw him and his assistant coaches with the Knicks under the bus. Here's more from around the Eastern Conference.
- We heard earlier today that the Magic, unsurprisingly, will not try to sign Dwight Howard in the offseason, and Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports that the team isn't interested in acquiring fellow Dan Fegan client DeMarcus Cousins, either.
- Schmitz also writes that Nikola Vucevic is off the market unless a team "blows away" the Magic with a proposal (and a Cousins offer wouldn't qualify). Still, Schmitz wonders if Orlando could swap him for a marquee talent when he gets closer to the end of his rookie deal in 2015.
- HoopsWorld's Yannis Koutroupis checks in with Nets interim coach and former Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo, who has admiration for the San Antonio model but doesn't think it's one that can be applied in Brooklyn.
- In a video attached to the same piece, Nets swingman MarShon Brooks, who's been seeing more playing time under Carlesimo, predictably gives the coach his stamp of approval, and brushes off trade rumors.
- Former Raptors small forward Gary Forbes had his sights set on an eventual return to the NBA when he signed with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions in China in November, but his next move will be to Puerto Rico, where he'll play for Atleticos de San German, reports Manolo Rodriguez of Tiro Al Blanco (translation via Sportando).