Why We Watch: Jerry Stackhouse, Who Remembers

Jerry Stackhouse has never been anyone's favorite player but his own, but he's still here.
Share |

There have been other Jerry Stackhouses. One of these scored more points than any other player in the NBA, in 2000-01. Another was one of the best high school players of his generation during Bill Clinton's first term in office. All of these players are alive, diminished in brilliance if not in orneriness, in the Stackhouse who is—astonishingly—still playing in the NBA. If he is inevitably not quite any of those other Jerry Stackhouses any longer, he is still recognizably himself.

The 2012-13 version of Jerry Stackhouse is like Jerry Joseph in reverse, a young never-was assuming a new identity for a second chance. Stackhouse hasn’t really had anything approaching a significant NBA role since 2007-08; he has played in just 89 games over the past four seasons. The biggest impact Stackhouse has made on the league during that period came he replaced Joe Johnson on Atlanta’s team in the Shooting Stars contest at the NBA All-Star Game last season. Most people doubtless assumed Atlanta had decided to use two retired players.

And yet here Stackhouse is, in his 18th season and first with the Brooklyn Nets, receiving meaningful fourth-quarter minutes and actually doing something with them, including knocking down threes at a rate previously unseen during his long career. Stackhouse has been playing so (surprisingly) well so far this season that he was even able to able to adroitly son Hawks coach Larry Drew after hitting five three-pointers against the Boston Celtics.

"I was in a playoff series against this team last year, and didn't even get in the game," he said. "Who was the smart guy that decided that?" Jerry Stackhouse said that.

***

That is how you know it’s still him in there. No one has ever been surer of Jerry Stackhouse’s abilities than Jerry Stackhouse. He’s had to be; great as he has been at scoring points, he has never been anyone’s favorite player, with the obvious and unsurprising exception of himself. He’s never had the game or the personality for that sort of stardom; for all his point-scoring, Stackhouse has mostly been overshadowed, and generally rightly. He has never even been anyone’s favorite player from the University of North Carolina to be drafted in 1995.

That would be Rasheed Wallace, of course, who is still stealing Stackhouse’s shine all these many years later. It's doubtful that either imagined, back in 1995, that either one would be at all relevant in the NBA in 2012-13. It's hard to see how anyone might have imagined that last year. But here we are, and there they are.

Of the two of them, maybe Sheed projected to be comfortable with his current role at career's end. Sheed projected to be a ton of things, which means that his present Rascally Big Man Off The Bench role never was off the table. But Stack always seemed to be too proud to accept such a submissive role; it seemed reasonable that he would willfully ignore the moment when his fast-twitch muscles cashed in their collective 401(k) and opened a bait shack somewhere. He'd ignore it until he couldn't, until the league retired him.

And he hasn't really accepted it so much as tolerated it. He very much remains the guy who did a not-bad 360 after Vince Carter took the 2000 dunk contest behind the woodshed, then nodded to himself like, "Yeah, what now, Vince? I got you." That's what has gotten Stackhouse so far, but also why it is so strange to see him get this far. He considered himself a deserving starter when he wasn't even the sixth man on the Mavs' mid-decade teams. He is salty with Larry Drew for not playing him ahead of Marvin Williams in a six-game playoff series loss.

It seemed a virtual certainty that Stackhouse would go out like his similarly assured (if far more iconic) teammate Allen Iverson, blind to his own encroaching basketball mortality to the very end, insisting even as he slid down the bench and toward the exit that the team would play better if only he got more touches, if only he were allowed to play his game. When Stackhouse's career entered its coming-off-the-bench phase after he was traded to the Mavericks, there was always a barely manageable and only intermittently managed fury there. "Nobody in this league is going to tell you that they don’t want to start," Stackhouse said. "I’ve bought into it, hoping there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But do I feel I could be starting on this team? Hell yeah."

It feels like forever ago, but we’re not that far removed from Stackhouse's me-first then and his player/coach now. Do I feel like that’s incredible? Hell yeah.

***

But it seems, to look around the league, as if there's an assistant on every bench no one would have thought would ever have been there, early in their careers or even later—Bob McAdoo, Chuck Person, Nick Van Exel, Sam Cassell. You might say you'd be surprised to see Latrell Sprewell back-benching it with a clipboard for, say, the Bucks next year. But, in context, you shouldn't be. The NBA rewards confidence, even if the game at some point punishes those whose confidence is misplaced; it never excommunicates those whose self-belief is pure and true. If you're good enough to make the league, there is always a home for you there. It keeps career arcs fungible, constantly living. That's how, as different as they were and are, Sheed and Stack can wind up in the same place, against any reasonable projection and also quite logically.

In some sense, though, it seems as if Stackhouse has been at this point in his career forever. Some of that might just be the name, admittedly. His is an old man's name, belonging not to a professional basketball player but to a shop steward in North Carolina who played some ball back in his day, sure, but got married too young, had kids, and never figured out how to show any of them that he really loved them. Still, it fits him. Because Stackhouse has always come across as a man older than his years, nostalgic for a time that maybe never existed, keeping on because why not, filled with a self-assurance that no slight—no unending, years-long series of slights—can erode.

When Jerry Stackhouse leaves the game—finally, someday—he won't leave behind all that much. He was never given that option, not that he cared or even really noticed. His legacy probably amounts to that strange scoring title—Allen Iverson scored more points per game in '00-01, although Stackhouse scored the most points—and the time he changed into sweats after playing the Jazz so he could smack Kirk Snyder. Stackhouse will pop up in some arena a decade from now, singing the national anthem, and you’ll remember him, but only vaguely. There’s no signature game or play.

You’ll have forgotten him. But then, you did that a long time ago. Stackhouse will remember, though. He'll remember every slight and every bucket, little things that only he ever knew in the first place. He’ll be damn sure he could still play 20 minutes if you needed him. He'll tell you he was open on the last play. He might even be right.

Illustration by Aaron Hadley Dana.


Share |

Comments

Excellent post, The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. ​excursions in sicily

I will really appreciate the writer's choice for choosing this excellent article appropriate to my matter.Here is deep description about the article matter which helped me more. تشک بادی

This is absolutely amazing. I really love this and I think this just might be That your best article yet. Wonderful job done here and I hope I will see more jobs like these. سئو

The next time I read a blog, I hope That it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. BetVoyager

Thanks for taking the time to discuss This, I feel Strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me. st petersburg shore excursions

Nice information, many thanks to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in overall, the usefulness and significance is overwhelming. Thanks again and good luck. house to rent in swindon

The Louis and Leah Posluns Centre for Stroke and Cognition focuses on rehabilitation programs to help seniors with dementia caused by vascular disorders such as strokes. pieczatki

that's all i can say..useful information shared... i am very happy to read this article.. thanks for giving us nice info. fantastic walk- I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job Lotenal

I am very glad to see such information which I was searching for a long time.This made very glad.. game astuce

Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! קידום אתרים

Through this post, i know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. That I notify this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for. You have a clever yet attractive way of writing. ดูซิทคอม

The news reporting and analysis on this site is of very high quality, the news stories are entertaining and insightful, and the many user guides are extremely valuable. I recommend visiting this website to take in the great resources available. подать объявление астана

Well definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog. podium avm

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this! التسويق الالكتروني

This is absolutely amazing. I really love this and I think this just might be That your best article yet. Wonderful job done here and I hope I will see more jobs like these. Cash Register Manufacturer

The next time I read a blog, I hope That it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. minion halloween wallpaper

Thanks for taking the time to discuss This, I feel Strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me. the secret plus

Nice information, many thanks to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in overall, the usefulness and significance is overwhelming. Thanks again and good luck. เวอรีน่า เดอะซีเคร็ทพลัส

I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics , i will be always checking your blog thanks. เดอะซีเคร็ท ปุ๊กกี้

This post is very easy to read and appreciate without leaving out any details. Great work! You completed reliable Un certain points there. I did a search on the subject and found Nearly all persons will agree with your blog. Buy Youtube Subscribers

Through this post, i know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. That I notify this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for. You have a clever yet attractive way of writing. Michael Jackson

Thanks for your post. I’ve been thinking about writing a very comparable post over the last couple of weeks, I’ll probably keep it short and sweet and link to this instead if thats cool. Thanks. Social exchange website

I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! 2016 Toyota suv

It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing. Tri mun an toan

Through this post, i know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. That I notify this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for. You have a clever yet attractive way of writing. mobile bingo

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this! prolong car battery life

Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which i actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post. BetVoyager

Through this post, i know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. That I notify this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for. You have a clever yet attractive way of writing. Entrepreneurs

It's That sets the great enthusiasm and incredible Journalists separated. I see You have energy and abilities. realism

It's That sets the great enthusiasm and incredible Journalists separated. I see You have energy and abilities. induction brazing

About that you'll be external right now there owning collateral on the truce your dominant’s establishes within the similar boulevard your have deny, satisfaction furthermore accomplish recording. christian louboutin uk sale

I'm really happy to find this site useful and did enjoy reading articles posted here. The thoughts of the author was awesome, thanks for the share. snöröjning tak

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog. Android tillbehör

This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. iphone laddare

The love of beauty in its multiple forms is the noblest gift of the human cerebrum. Dunkin Donut K-Cups

Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us. My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come back here for new post from your site. Premier Credit Card

You got the best website about old musical instruments here in Central Europe. upholstery cleaning columbia sc

Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which i actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post. get assignment

Through this post, i know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. That I notify this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for. You have a clever yet attractive way of writing. contabilidade sao jose SC

It's That sets the great enthusiasm and incredible Journalists separated. I see You have energy and abilities. Junaid Jamshed

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured With the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making Such wonderful blog page! end of tenancy cleaning London

No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read. brisbane

Since 1998, Studio2a has been creating 3d architectural renderings for architects. As highly experienced and well trained architects, Studio2a understands the importance of a distinguished presentation for your client. Visualize! matching wedding rings

I really liked the font you've chose to use in this article. Could I Please get the name of That font? I wanted to use it in my project now. Thanks very much! engagement rings

This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough. I really appreciate your post. It is very helpful for all the people on the web. Free ring sizer

I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. wedding rings

I was seeking out real estate tools, and I tracked down this housing news web page, His and hers wedding rings

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured With the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making Such wonderful blog page! Edward Bass Director

Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the Efforts You Had made ​​for writing This awesome article. Edward Bass Director

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the Efforts You Had made ​​for writing This awesome article. Edward Bass Director