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He’s not officially an assistant coach ... and that’s fine with Amar’e Stoudemire

2020-21 Brooklyn Nets Content Day Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Officially, Amar’e Stoudemire is a “player development assistant,” not an assistant coach but he answers to it, begrudgingly.

As Marc Stein reports for Thursday’s Times, the 38-year-old isn’t crazy about the title.

“I just never liked the title ‘Coach,’” Stoudemire told Stein. “There’s not a lot of swagger that comes with that title. I’m still not quite there yet. I’m still very young, and I like to feel young.”

And he doesn’t like either of his big men, 32-year-old DeAndre Jordan and 22-year-old Jarrett Allen calling him “Coach.” because it “has kind of an older vibe to it.”

Older or not, Stoudemire IS a coach and his old teammates from the Suns are giving him a lot of leeway in figuring out where his future lies.

Stoudemire sits in on management meetings where Nets planning, scouting and recruiting strategies are discussed as well as those on analytics. Marks was the beneficiary of just such a curriculum when he was with the Spurs.

“He has complete access,” Nash said. “We’re pushing him to be as involved as he wants.”

“I get to learn from all departments,” Stoudemire said, “to see where I want my career to go.”

Still, the MVP of the Israeli League Finals tells Stein that he’s not officially retired and Allen has noted that he’s a worthy opponent in coaching sessions.

Stoudemire in fact was one of three former Nash teammates —the others being Dirk Nowitzki and Raja Bell— who the rookie head coach approached about about joining Brooklyn. The other two turned him down, and Stoudemire admits he had to think about. Ultimately, he said yes and Nash is happy he did. The old Phoenix ties, with Marks and Mike D’Antoni, did the trick.

“I really admire him,” said Nash. “It’s not just our history and our relationship, but how open and inquisitive he is. Amar’e never feels like he’s fully formed; he’s always trying to learn more and do more. So when he showed interest, I said, ‘This is the kind of guy I want.’”