Dallas Mavericks star Amar’e Stoudemire has ripped his teammates as they continue to struggle and insisted that he joined the organisation to win.
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The Mavs fell to a 127-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night, which saw their record since Stoudemire joined after the All-Star break fall to 5-6.
The former New York Knicks star chose Dallas because he believed that the current set-up at the franchise would give him the best possible chance of winning a championship this season.
However, based on current form, it appears as though he may well have made the wrong decision and so has attempted to rally his troops and get them back on a winning run.
“I came here to win, and we’re [4 ½] games out of being out of the playoffs, which is unacceptable,” Stoudemire said, according to ESPN.
“This is something we can’t accept. We’ve got to find a way to refocus. We’ve got to key into the details of the game of basketball.
“We can’t cheat the game. We can’t screw around in games and practices and joke around all the time and figure we’re going to win games. This is the pros. It’s the highest level of basketball. We’ve got to act that way.”
Dallas are now 41-25 for the season and have slipped down to seventh spot in the Western Conference, and with the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans still pushing hard below them, it could get worse for Rick Carlisle’s men unless they start to improve.
Stoudemire is averaging 11.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game in his role off the bench, and although he has been effective, it hasn’t quite worked for the team as a whole in the last fortnight.
However, his biggest issue was the lack of aggressiveness and determination from the team and he insisted that if the Mavs want to be champions, then they have to compete like it.
Carlisle conceded that this was the “lowest point” for them this season, and now it is a case of seeing what the team is made of if they want to succeed this year.