• Brian L. Barefield

Jerry Stackhouse Tells Why He Disliked Playing With Michael Jordan In Washington

One of the greatest players to ever set foot on a basketball court had three different phases of basketball life during his career. Two of them were arguably the best years of basketball some ever witnessed, but the last one was hard to watch.

Six-Time NBA Champion and Finals MVP Michael Jordan was considered by most as basketball royalty during his time with the Chicago Bulls, but his Washington Wizards years could be seen as the guy on the court trying to relive the past. Those latter years is what former NBA player Jerry Stackhouse witnessed and he was not a fan of playing with that Jordan.

Stackhouse, who is the current head coach of Vanderbilt University men’s basketball team went on ESPN’s senior NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast “The Woj Pod” and voiced his displeasure about playing with Jordan in Washington during the 2002-03 season.

The No.3 overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft out of Jordan’s alma mater, North Carolina was in his eighth season and had put up good numbers in Detroit averaging 22.1 points per game before being traded in a six-player deal from Detroit to Washington.

“Honestly, I wish I never played in Washington and for a number of reasons,” Stackhouse said. “I felt we were on our way in Detroit before I got traded there. It was really 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, and 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.

Stackhouse felt by that point in his career that he should have been the focal point for the Wizards offense, but Jordan seen it differently.

“We got off to a pretty good start and he [Jordan] 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 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. Kind of the picture I had in my mind of Michael Jordan and the reverence I had for him, I lost a little bit of it during the course of that year.”

The Wizards finished that year with a 37-45 record and that was the last time Jordan aka “Basketball Jesus” would play in the NBA as he retired at the conclusion of that season.

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