Ask a Wizards fan about the Michael Jordan era of the franchise, and you're likely to send them screaming and running away in the opposite direction. This isn't too far off from how Jerry Stackhouse feels about his time in our nation's capital when he was a teammate of the then-40-year-old superstar.
In an interview with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Stackhouse reveals just how disgruntled he felt on the Wizards. Not only does Stackhouse say he thought he was a better player than Jordan was at the time, but he also lost some of the admiration he had for the six-time champion.
"Honestly I wish I had never played with him in Washington for a number of reasons. I felt like we were on our way in Detroit when I got traded there, but 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, and I love Doug Collins, but that was an opportunity for him to make up for some ill moments that they may of had back in Chicago.
I mean we got off to a pretty good start, but I don't think he liked the way the offense was running because it was running a little bit more through me. He wanted to get more isolations on the post, so we had more isolations for him on the post. It just kind of spiraled in a way that I didn't really enjoy that season at all. The kind of picture that I had in my mind of Michael Jordan, and the reverence that I had for him, I lost a little bit of it during the course of that year."
It's worth noting that Stackhouse felt like running the offense though MJ tanked their season and that he was traded from a playoff team in the Detroit Pistons for Rip Hamilton who would eventually help the Pistons win an NBA championship. But most of his concern seems to be how the team revolved around the whims of a way-past-his-prime-but-still-talented superstar rather than Stackhouse, who was in his late 20s at the time.
The now-Vanderbilt coach also dealt with injuries during his tenure as a Wizard, playing just 96 of a possible 164 total games. His best season was his first, where he averaged 21.5 points, 4.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game in the 2002-03 season -- Jordan, for what it's worth, averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game in his final season. Stackhouse was traded to Dallas in 2004, along with Christian Laettner and a first-rounder, for Antawn Jamison.