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Jerry Stackhouse wishes he never played with Michael Jordan in Washington -“I felt like I was a better player”

By Shane Garry Acedera,


Jerry Stackhouse’s growth as an NBA player stalled when he played with Michael Jordan in Washington

Jerry Stackhouse

© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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Many NBA players would have loved to play with Michael Jordan. After all, MJ is considered by many as the GOAT of basketball, and playing under his wings would mean learning from the man himself. But that was not the case with Jerry Stackhouse.

Stackhouse grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and even played college ball for the same team MJ played with in college - North Carolina. So when a chance to play with his idol arrived when Stackhouse was traded to the Washington Wizards in 2002, it was supposed to be a dream come true for him. Instead, it was the opposite.

Per Stackhouse during a 2020 appearance at The Woj Pod :

" Honestly, I wish I never played in Washington, and for a number of reasons. I felt we were on our way in Detroit before I got traded there. It was challenging to be able to be in a situation with an idol who, at this particular point, I felt like I was a better player ."

" Things were still being run through Michael Jordan," he continued. "

"[Head coach] Doug Collins, I love Doug, but I think that was an opportunity for him to make up for some ill moments that they may have had back in Chicago. So, pretty much everything that Michael wanted to do [we did]. We got off to a pretty good start, and he didn't like the way the offense was running because it was running a little bit more through me. He wanted to get a little more isolations for him on the post, of course, so we had more isolations for him on the post. And it just kind of spiraled in a way that I didn't enjoy that season at all. The kind of picture I had in my mind of Michael Jordan and the reverence I had for him, I lost a little bit of it during that year ."

Stack was a two-time All-Star in Detroit

Jerry Stackhouse was the Philadelphia 76ers' 3rd overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. During his rookie season, he led the Sixers in scoring at 19.2 points per game, but after just three seasons, he was traded for the Detroit Pistons, where he had his best NBA years.

After struggling with injuries during his first two seasons in Detroit, Stackhouse had his two best seasons after that. He averaged a career-best 23.6 points per game in 2000 and topped that with 29.8 points per game in 2001.

But after the 2001 season, he was traded to the Wizards in the deal that brought Rip Hamilton to Detroit. While Hamilton thrived in Detroit and eventually won a championship there, Stackhouse regressed in Washington where he played alongside Michael Jordan .

Stackhouse became stagnant in Washington

Just as when it looked like Stackhouse was destined for superstardom, his career became stagnant when he was traded to the Wizards. Although he was Washington's leading scorer during his first year there at 21.5 points per game, his career went downhill from there.

Washington finished the 2002-03 season with a 37-45 record and missed the playoffs. They were even worse the following year at 25-57. During the 2004 offseason, Stackhouse was on the move again as he was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks. Injuries had begun slowing him down, and he would not be the same again.

Stackhouse bounced around the league after his stint in Dallas. He next played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, and Nets before calling it a career in 2013. While it can be argued that injuries prevented Stackhouse from being a full-fledged star in the NBA, he didn't grow in Washington, eventually leading to his decline.

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