Dallas Mavericks forward Amar'e Stoudemire called out his new teammates after a blowout home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, saying they need to refocus as the Western Conference playoff race intensifies.
The Cavaliers beat the Mavericks 127-94, and Stoudemire reminded his teammates that they are in a tight playoff race in the Western Conference.
"I came here to win, and we're [4 1/2] games out of being out of the playoffs, which is unacceptable," Stoudemire said, according to ESPN.com. "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."
Stoudemire joined the Mavericks last month after being bought out by the New York Knicks. Dallas is 5-6 in the 11 games since his arrival.
Stoudemire is averaging 11.4 points and 3.5 rebounds since he signed with the Mavs.
Dallas (41-25) is seventh place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the San Antonio Spurs.
"We've just got to have that mindset to want to step up and truly compete," Stoudemire said. "You want to play against the top players in this league. You want to show them that you've got what it takes to win."
- Scooby Axson