Amar’e Stoudemire Leaves Brooklyn Nets After 2 Years, Citing Shabbat Observance
Six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire said on Wednesday that he will not return as assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets because his Shabbat observance prevents him from committing “full-time” to the team.
Stoudemire, who played in the NBA for 14 years and has converted to Judaism, announced last week on the ESPN program “Get Up” that he decided to leave his position as a player development assistant for the Nets after two seasons with the team.
In an Instagram video posted this week, Stoudemire explained that before appearing on “Get Up,” he spoke with his former Phoenix Suns teammate and current Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash, and they had an “easy, mutual conversation” about Stoudemire’s future with the team.
“I spoke about me not being able to grow in a coaching space because I don’t work on Shabbat,” Stoudemire said. “And so not working on Friday night and Saturdays is difficult for anyone to grow in a coaching space because coaching is such a grind and requires you to be there full-time. For me, I wasn’t able to grow in that space so I did not want to continue coaching. On the flip side, the Nets organization wants people who can be there full-time and I totally understand that.”
Stoudemire expressed that he had a “mutual understanding” with the Nets, and parted ways with “no hard feelings.” He also talked about his “amazing experience” with the Nets, calling it a “beautiful organization” and saying he and Nash remain “good friends.”
Last year, he revealed that the Nets agreed to give him time off every week for Shabbat, which lasts from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Stoudemire — who formerly played for the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Dallas Mavericks — maintains a modern Orthodox Jewish lifestyle and currently lives in New York, after spending two years in Israel to study at a men’s religious seminary and complete his conversion to Judaism.