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NETS ADDING AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE TO COACHING STAFF

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Phoenix Suns v New Jersey Nets Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Steve Nash is starting to fill out his coaching staff and his first choice, like the Nets own decision to hire him, is a shocker.

Other reporters confirmed Shams’ reporting.

In addition to his years with Nash, Stoudemire also played two years in Phoenix with Sean Marks. Frank Isola has reported that Mike D’Antoni, who coached the Suns back then, is a candidate for another assistant’s job. Jacque Vaughn, who served as interim coach after Kenny Atkinson was dumped, is secure in the lead assistant’s job.

Like Nash, Stoudemire who last played in the NBA during the 2015-16 season, has no coaching experience, but he has two big qualifications: a relationship with Nash from their seven years together in Phoenix, and the respect he gained during a 14-year NBA career. The fact that he was also a fan favorite in New York with the Knicks for four plus seasons probably didn’t hurt either.

In the past five years, Stoudemare has played in both Israel and China. In July, he helped Maccabi Tel Aviv win the Israeli League championship while earning Finals MVP honors.

Top lottery prospect Deni Avdija, one of his teammates on Maccabi this season, told reporters last month that he’s seen Stoudemire encourage and help young talent like him grow and develop.

“Amar’e as a teammate was great, great man,” Avdija said during Zoom pre-draft interviews. “Has a lot of patience with young guys. Really wants the young guys to improve.”

After winning the Israeli title, Stoudemire, announced he was returning to the U.S.

Stoudemire converted to Judaism in Israel, where he also won citizenship in the Israeli state He officially changed his name to Yehoshafat Ben Avraham at the conclusion of his conversion on August 26.

Over the course of his NBA career, Stoudemire averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 846 games. The 6’10” big was All-NBA five times and an All-Star six times.

Later Friday, Raja Bell, who also played on the Suns in the Nash era, said the News new head coach had approached him about an assistant’s job...

Bell was a defensive specialist, which the Nets badly need. Dirk Nowitzki, a Nash teammate in Dallas, has similarly said Nash approached him but that he turned him down.

Meanwhile, Ian Begley of SNY writes Knicks assistant coach Royal Ivey is also a candidate for a Nets job. Ivey, a New York native, has been with the Knicks for two years. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant coach in Oklahoma City where he became close friend of Kevin Durant.

Nash will speak with fans in a virtual setting at noon Tuesday.