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Jerry Stackhouse admits losing ‘reverence’ for Michael Jordan after joining Wizards

NBA, Michael Jordan, Wizards, Jerry Stackhouse

Former NBA star Jerry Stackhouse was not among the crowd who expressed excitement at Michael Jordan’s decision to return to the league in 2001.

Stackhouse had been a member of the Detroit Pistons — in fact, he had been a two-time All-Star — prior to a trade that sent him to the Washington Wizards.

While Richard Hamilton (who went the other way in the deal) and the Pistons ascended to the top of the NBA in 2004, Stackhouse felt nothing but frustration as a member of the Wizards with Michael Jordan.

“Honestly, I wish I never played in Washington and for a number of reasons,” Jerry Stackhouse said, via Ben Pickman of Sports Illustrated. “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.”

The Wizards did not make the playoffs in either of Jordan’s two comeback seasons with the team, and that period also marked Stackhouse’s fall from potential superstar to middling NBA regular.

The two may share collegiate ties from UNC, but Stackhouse lost some respect for Jordan in Washington.