Most players would appreciate the time they spent next to Michael Jordan.
Not only is he one of the best ever to play the game, so few have ever had a chance to team up with him. It really is an elite class of players in the basketball world.
Long-time security guard and current Villanova head coach Jerry Stackhouse said in ESPN’s “The Woj Pod” on Wednesday that he wished he had never had a chance with Jordan at the Washington Wizards in the 2002/03 season – last season in Jordan to play.
“Honestly, I wish I had never played in Washington for several reasons,” said Stackhouse about ESPN. “I felt like we were in Detroit before I was traded there. It was really a challenge to be in a situation with an idol who felt like a better player at the time. “
At that point, Stackhouse was in his eighth season in the NBA and fresh from a trade with the Detroit Pistons, where he had spent the past five seasons. That year he scored an average of 21.5 points and 4.5 assists at the Wizards, his first of two assists at organizing during his 18-year career in the league.
Although his comments may surprise some, it’s easy to see where Stackhouse is from. After all, his time with Jordan was at the end of Jordan’s career.
Jordan retired and spent two seasons with the Wizards from 2001 to 2003, just before he turned 40. While he was and is one of the best players the NBA has ever seen, he was undoubtedly a different player than he was when he led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles.
Stackhouse, which was still in its prime, did not know how the crime was still carried out through Jordan. And at the end of the year, his perception of him was just different.
“Things were still going through Michael Jordan,” Stackhouse said of ESPN. “[Coach] Doug Collins, I love Doug, but I think that was an opportunity for him to make up for some sick moments that they might have had in Chicago. Pretty much everything Michael wanted to do [we did]. We got off to a pretty good start and he didn’t like the way the offense went because it went a little bit more through me. Of course, he wanted a little more insulation in the mail, so we had more insulation for him in the mail. And it just turned out that I didn’t enjoy this season at all.
“I lost a bit of the image I had of Michael Jordan and the awe of him during the course of this year.”