Jerry Stackhouse is not quite backing down from his comments about Michael Jordan, but rather clarifying his point.
The former two-time All-Star and Washington Wizards teammate of Jordan had said back in April that he believed he was a better player than his Hall of Fame teammate, but admitted he should have used a better choice of words.
“It came out wrong when I said I felt I was a better player than Michael Jordan,” Stackhouse said on the Knuckleheads podcast with former NBA players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles. “That sounds crazy, right? Michael Jordan is the greatest player.
“But, at that time, I was better suited to carry that team. I was 29 and I just showed you the year before … just go back and watch that tape man. The tape don’t lie.”
Stackhouse maintains that the only reason he was traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Washington Wizards was because of his tremendous success against them and that he outplayed Richard Hamilton – one of the players whom the Wizards sent to Detroit in the trade for Stackhouse.
In four games against the Wizards the year prior, Stackhouse averaged 19 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
“The reason I got traded to Washington because I bust their ass the year before,” he said. “[Jordan] and Rip Hamilton. We beat them four straight times. That’s why they wanted me on that team. … So, my mindset was I thought I was coming in to be the guy, and Mike was on his way out. But Mike was in like, ‘Nah, this is not how I wanna go out’ to the point … he changed that offense.”
Jordan has since said he regrets not taking Stackhouse under his wing, but Stackhouse says that relationship, coupled with the fact that Washington was a floundering franchise trying to reach the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade, left him unhappy in Washington.
“Yeah, I didn’t necessarily want to be there,” he said. “It was cool — the thought of playing with Michael Jordan for that year and I could pick his brain — but it felt somewhat adversarial. We had been competitors so long; it just didn’t flow.”