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

I am a big time fan of your band and there is not a single day that I haven’t heard your songs. You are guys are awesome.free walking tour stockholm

I would certainly commit 10 on 10 for such incredible cognition.window tint perth

Well writing articles will give you quality one way backlinks to your site. You have to write a lot in order to get this quality links. list of womens clothes shops

Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and new initiatives in the same niche. Blog gave us useful information to work. You have done an amazing job! discount womens handbags

And also this comes in handy when you want to sell your car because you are guaranteed of having top dollar because of it because of its condition. c63 amg car covers

As the power of PageRank is getting lower, flow metrics matter. Google gives a huge importance to metrics like domain authority, trust flow or citation flow as a ranking factor. high trust flow backlinks

’ll remember him, but only vaguely. There’s no signature game or play.free tour stockholm

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Accounting Firm Brochures Online• Identify your objectives. brochure prints

Externally without a doubt it is an instance of purchased and supported similarity produced in the social circles as opposed to a characteristic and wilful process. followers | instalikes

A human-edited listing is created and serviceable thru editors who add route based on the on lines factor to that listing. High quantity Domains | Buy cheap backlinks service

I havent any word to welcome this post.....Really i am inspired from this post....the individual who make this post it was an extraordinary human..thanks for imparted this to us. assisted living placement in glen allen

Thanks for the wonderful reviews to share about the preparedness application I would like to research more about this application usage. Datafrog console

Thanks for the wonderful reviews to share about the preparedness application I would like to research more about this application usage. candyB

The 3 week diet is a quick weight loss diet program created by Brian Flatt. Mr. Flatt claims that you can lose between 12 and 23 pounds of fat in just 21 days. His diet is based on the principle where you eat normally for five days a week and fast on the other two. It is recommended for people who wants to improve lifespan and brain functions, and wants to be healthier and more fit. This 3 week diet can also help lower the risk of certain obesity related cancers and a lot more.

After all Internet makes the very existence of such phenomenon possible. SEO for Business

The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand new information. rumbletalk alternative

This is my first opportunity to visit this website. I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog. Thanks for sharing useful information.electricians in calgary

The destination for news, blogs and original content offering coverage of US politics, entertainment, style, world news'The Top Stories

These articles have got thorough discernment without unclear the readers.tsp s fund

I high value this post. It's elusive the great from the awful once in a while, yet I think you've nailed it! would you brain overhauling your web journal with more data? allvino

It’s never too late to improve your information and your contents inspire me.this page

Its an incredible joy perusing your post.Its brimming with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that "The substance of your post is magnificent" Great work. additional reading

I was surfing net and luckily ran over this site and discovered exceptionally intriguing stuff here. Its truly enjoyable to peruse. I delighted in a considerable measure. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this magnificent data. Google Cardboard Custom

Certainly worth bookmarking for returning to. I amaze the amount of exertion you put to make such an awesome useful site. sc300 car covers

Hey what a splendid post I have run over and trust me I have been hunting out down this comparative sort of post for recent week and barely ran over this. Much thanks and will search for more postings from you. Chargepoint Express 250

Im no master, however I trust you simply made a fantastic point. You unquestionably completely comprehend what youre talking about, and I can really get behind that. over here

I adore this online journal!! The glimmer up the top is wonderful!! Custom Google Cardboard

Your work forces out your followers for blog commenting.shop damage advice

This was truly a fascinating subject and I kinda concur with what you have specified here! go to my site

this text defined the way to market a website with inbound links. seo cheap packages

Its an incredible delight perusing your post.Its brimming with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that "The substance of your post is wonderful" Great work. continue

My spouse and i surely savoring every single small the idea along with We've anyone added to view brand-new goods anyone article.mario kart ds rom

I adore this online journal!! The glimmer up the top is wonderful!! leapy frog

I was surfing net and luckily ran over this site and discovered exceptionally intriguing stuff here. Its truly enjoyable to peruse. I delighted in a considerable measure. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this superb data. satta faridabad

It is to a great degree supportive and fascinating and all that much anticipating perusing a greater amount of your work.bonus casino senza deposito

Thankyou for this wondrous post, I am happy I watched this site on yippee. full article

A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to talk about this, I feel firmly about it and love adapting more on this subject. helpful resources

This is such an extraordinary asset, to the point that you are giving and you give it away for nothing. I cherish seeing sites that comprehend the benefit of giving a quality asset to free. It is the old what circumvents comes around schedule. website

counting sensible remarks here... as explained here

A debt of gratitude is in order for this incredible post, i discover it exceptionally intriguing and extremely well thoroughly considered and set up together. I anticipate perusing your work later on. Applewood Crossfit

I’m eager to find the valuable information and for me this is the right place to get the good stuff.
women

Incredible data on your web journal, thank you for setting aside an ideal opportunity to impart to us. Stunning understanding you have on this current, it's decent to discover a site that subtle elements such a great amount of data about diverse specialists. tattoo supply

Awesome article, keep up the great working and congratulation for the appreciation of all the people to you.
women

Really decent post. I just discovered your weblog and needed to say that I have truly delighted in searching your blog entries. After all I'll be subscribing to your food and I trust you compose again soon! find more info

I have as of late begun a web journal, the data you give on this website has helped me significantly. A debt of gratitude is in order for the majority of your time and work. what is cognizin

Really decent post. I just discovered your weblog and needed to say that I have truly delighted in searching your blog entries. After all I'll be subscribing to your food and I trust you compose again soon! haarverdichtung düsseldorf

Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. cellulite factor system review

I was surfing net and luckily ran over this site and discovered exceptionally intriguing stuff here. Its truly enjoyable to peruse. I delighted in a considerable measure. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this superb data. werbemittel günstig

Every day I visit a number of blog sites to see content, however this offers quality based content.
مرض السكري النوع الثاني

Cool blog! Because of the way you explained, the things you defined, I have been adorer of your site…
Live Green Energy Solutions