Jerry Stackhouse recently told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that he wished he never played with MJ on the Washington Wizards. He only played with the Wizards for two seasons where he averaged 19.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He joined the team during MJ's second and last season there in 2002.
Apparently that campaign was hell for Stackhouse, who said "everything" ran through Jordan.
"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," 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 the course of that year."
Obviously, speaking ill of Jordan always draws a lot of attention from the NBA community and this was no exception. Among a number of voices, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith responded to Stackhouse's comments on First Take Friday morning.
"Jerry Stackhouse, one of the best people you could ever meet, one of the realist brothers you could ever meet. A really good guy, really decent person -- is absolutely right in what he's saying. My retort to that would be: so what? I mean, who cares? Because at the end of the day, that's really what it comes down to.
When Jerry Stackhouse was in Washington and Jordan arrived, Michael Jordan didn't arrive as a player. Michael Jordan arrived with the intent to ultimately be the owner for the Washington franchise.
Number two, if you recall, the same Jerry Stackhouse started off his career in Philadelphia with the 76ers. What happened to him after his rookie year? In his second year, some dude by the name of Allen Iverson arrived on the scene. Everybody know that A.I. was that dude except for Jerry Stackhouse. Jerry STackhouse wasn't trying to concede a damn thing."
Stephen A. made some good points. Jordan came with the intent of eventually becoming an owner -- it was more than just about becoming a player.
And for most NBA superstars of Jordan's stature, they get control of the franchise anyway. Perhaps Stackhouse didn't get the memo?