For years, Jerry Stackhouse was compared to Michael Jordan. And for a while, Stack even believed he was better than Jordan.
It all goes back to mid 90's summers at North Carolina, where alumni like MJ and Stackhouse would face off against each other. One summer, Stackhouse caused a little controversy by reportedly telling some media members he could beat (fresh off the baseball field or suspension if you are into conspiracies) Jordan one-on-one. Jordan didn't respond in the media but did drop 38 and 48 (in three quarters) on Stackhouse and the 76ers during the following NBA season. According to one of Stack's former teammates, Roshown McLeod, MJ even sang an Anita Baker song to Stack to get into his head.
“I just remember stories of Jordan singing to guys when he was playing. His number one song was ‘Giving You The Best That I Got.’ I remember him singing that to Jerry Stackhouse one day and just putting on a show. It was like he had a concert going on in his own head. He gave it to you every time. He had an answer for everything that came out of anyone’s mouth. Very few guys were able to do that, but when you found a guy like Jordan or a guy like Kobe that could do it, it was a memorable moment.”
Stack denies the story and said he called McLeod to "check him." If you know anything about Stack's fight resume (punching teammate Christian Laettner on a plane over a card game and borrowing a warm-up suit just to beat up Kirk Snyder in a tunnel after a game), then you know he's one of the last guys you want to piss off and be "checked" by.
Anyways, over the following seasons, as the 76ers made it clear they were giving Allen Iverson (Stack reportedly fought him too) the keys to the 76ers, the Stack/Jordan comparisons faded away like MJ's trademark shot and Stack was soon traded away to the Pistons. It was in Detroit he became an All-Star and finally started getting the recognition as being one of the best shooting guards in the league. And in 2001, he almost led the league in scoring with an impressive 30 points per game average. It was also in 2001 when he had his career-high against Jordan's old team and broke the United Center single-game scoring record with 57 points.
"Ron Artest told me at the beginning of the game that [Bull] Coach [Tim] Floyd said he didn't respect my game and he wasn't going to double-team me," Stackhouse said. "Maybe next time."
Maybe Stack did have some MJ in him. He made 21-of-36 shots from the field and broke the franchise-record set by Kelly Tripucka in 1984 -- against Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
As fate would have it, Stack would soon be traded to the Wizards, where he would play alongside...who else but Michael Jordan.
JERRY STACKHOUSE SICK CAREER MIXTAPE
40 YEAR OLD STACK 1-ON-1 VS TOP HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS