Jerry Stackhouse was a force on the basketball court since his high school days. His dominance continued when he made his arrival in the NBA in the mid-90s.
Stackhouse’s dominance on the court started in his sophomore year of high school. He led the Kinston High School men’s basketball team to the state finals in 1992 and was named the North Carolina Player of the Year.
In his senior year, he helped lead Oak Hill Academy to an undefeated season. He was named a first-team Parade All-American in back-to-back years, 1992 and 1993. He was also named the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Stackhouse attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In his first year on the team, he came off the bench and assisted the team by putting up 12.2 points per game (PPG), 5.0 rebounds per game (RPG), 2.0 assists per game (APG), 1.2 steals per game (SPG), and 0.5 blocks per game (BPG) for the season. He got the opportunity to start in one of the 35 games played that season. UNC went 11-5 in conference games, finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and qualified for the NCAA tournament. UNC entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed in the East Region and easily disposed of the No. 16 seed, Liberty University, in the first round. In the following round, however, the Tar Heels were eliminated by the No. 9 seed, Boston College. UNC finished the season with a 28-7 winning record. In Stackhouse’s first year on the team, he made the ACC All-Freshman Team and was named the ACC tournament MVP.
He was promoted to a starter in his second year on the team. Stackhouse averaged 19.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.5 SPG, and 1.7 BPG while getting the start in 33 out of the team’s 34 games. He led the team in points, rebounds, and steals. UNC again finished second in the conference, this time with a 12-4 record, and again qualified for the NCAA tournament. This time around they were the No.2 seed in the Southeast Region. They took down No. 15 ranked, Murray State, in the first round of the tournament. The team then took down the No. 7 seed, Iowa State University, in the following round. In the Sweet 16 round, UNC took down the No. 6 seed, Georgetown University. The Tar Heels continued their dominance in the Elite Eight when they took down the No. 1 seed, the University of Kentucky. North Carolina’s luck ran out in the Final Four when they were eliminated by the No. 2 seed of the Midwest Region, the University of Arkansas. UNC finished their impressive season with a record of 28-6. Stackhouse’s impressive season and ability to lead UNC to the Final Four were rewarded by being named to the All-ACC first-team and a Consensus first-team All-American. To cap off his incredible sophomore season, Stackhouse was named the National Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated. At the end of the season, he declared for the 1995 NBA draft.
Welcome to the NBA
Stackhouse was drafted 3rd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1995 NBA draft. At one point in time, he was called the “Next Jordan” by some people due to some of the similarities between Michael Jordan and him.
He quickly adapted to the NBA as he led his team in scoring his rookie year and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. He also took part in the 1996 Slam Dunk Contest but was eliminated in the first round, missing out on the second round by one point. In his two-and-a-half years with the 76ers, Stackhouse and Allen Iverson were seen as the team’s two young superstars that would lead the team to success. Stackhouse averaged 19.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.9 BPG while starting in all but one of his 175 games with the team. Stackhouse and the 76ers never got to experience the playoffs while he was on the team.
Halfway through the 1997-98 season, Stackhouse was traded to the Detroit Pistons, where he had the best years of his career. He was named an all-star in back-to-back years, 2000 and 2001, his only two All-Star Game appearances. 2001 was an especially important year for Stackhouse, he averaged a career-high 29.8 PPG, set the Pistons’ franchise record and the NBA’s season high for that year when he scored 57 points in a game against the Chicago Bulls, he led the league in points, and finished second for the scoring title behind his former teammate, Iverson. In Stackhouse’s four-and-a-half years with the Pistons he put up 22.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.5 BPG while starting in 262 out of his 337 regular season games played with the team. Detroit made the playoffs in 1999, 2000, and 2002, but the furthest they made it with him on the team was the second round. In the playoffs, he averaged 16.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 0.6 SPG while starting in 13 of the 18 games.
In the 2002 offseason, Stackhouse was traded to the Washington Wizards. In his first season with the Wizards, he led the team in points and assists. Stackhouse also became the first teammate of Jordan to score more points per game than him for a whole season. In Stackhouse’s two seasons with the Wizards, he averaged 19.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.4 APG, and 0.9 SPG while starting in 87 of his 96 games played. He missed most of his second season with the team due to him needing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and needing time to recover. The Wizards missed the playoffs both years Stackhouse was on the team.
In 2020, Stackhouse stated on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast that he wished he never played in Washington with Jordan as his teammate because plays were being designed to be run through Jordan, who was past his prime by then, rather than Stackhouse, who was in his prime years, and this stalled his momentum.
The Dallas Years
During the 2004 offseason, Stackhouse was traded again, this time to the Dallas Mavericks. In his first year in Dallas, he got transferred over to more of a sixth-man role. He averaged 14.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 0.9 SPG while starting in seven of his 56 games played. Groin and knee problems limited the number of games he was able to play. The Mavericks were still able to finish fourth in the Western Conference with a 58-24 record, despite the absence of Stackhouse in 26 games. Dallas took down the Houston Rockets in seven games to start off their playoff journey. In the next round of the playoffs, however, their playoff journey came to an end when they lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games. He came off the bench in all 13 games and put up 16.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 0.6 SPG.
The problems continued to persist for Stackhouse during the 2005-06 season and his scoring began to decline but he still played a valuable role off the bench for the Mavs. He averaged 13.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 0.7 SPG, all while making 55 appearances throughout the season, 11 of which were in the starting lineup. Dallas finished the season with an impressive 60-22 record, a record good enough to get them the fourth seed in the West. The Mavs quickly swept the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. Dallas then defeated their rivals, the San Antonio Spurs, in seven games. In the Western Conference Finals, the Mavericks avenged their loss from the prior year and defeated the Suns in six games to advance to their first NBA Finals in franchise history. In the 2006 NBA Finals, the Mavericks faced off against the Miami Heat. Dallas got an early 2-0 lead in the series but Miami came back and won the series in six games. Stackhouse was suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals due to a flagrant foul call on him in Game 4, a foul that was deemed excessive by league vice president Stu Jackson. Stackhouse took part in every other playoff game and even got to start in one of them. In the playoffs, he put up 13.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 0.5 SPG.
Stackhouse’s best year when it came to games played with the Mavs was the 2006-07 season. He appeared in 67 games with the team and started in eight of them. His numbers continued to dwindle as he averaged 12.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 0.8 SPG for the season. The Mavericks finished the regular season with the best record in the entire league, 67-15. Despite their regular season luck, the team wasn’t able to extend it to the playoffs as they were eliminated in the first round by the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately for the Mavs, not only were they eliminated in the first round of the playoffs but they also became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No.8 seed in a seven-game series. Stackhouse came off the bench in all six playoff games and put up 14.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 0.7 SPG, which was great contribution off the bench by Stackhouse, but it just wasn’t enough to take down the Warriors.
Stackhouse’s 2007-08 season continued the pattern of his decrease in scoring and less playing time. He averaged 10.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 0.5 SPG, this would be the final season in which he would average double-digit scoring. He started in 13 of his 58 games played that season, which continued the pattern of him missing out on over 20 games throughout the season. The Mavericks finished seventh in the West with a 51-31 record. For the second straight year, they were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round, this time by the New Orleans Hornets in five games. Stackhouse got the opportunity to start in two of the five playoff games and averaged 6.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.2 APG in the series.
The 2008-09 season was Stackhouse’s final season with the Mavs and it didn’t end the way he hoped it would. He began to average single-digit scoring numbers as he put up 4.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, and 0.4 SPG for the season, a season that was very short-lived. Stackhouse only played in 10 games during the season, even getting the opportunity to start in one of them. His absence throughout the season wasn’t due to any major injury or because he refused to play, it was mainly due to Dallas’ new head coach, Rick Carlisle, wanting to play the younger guys. The Mavericks finished the season sixth in the conference with a 50-32 record. Dallas took down the Spurs in five games before they themselves got eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in five games. Stackhouse did not take part in any of the playoff games.
Final Years in the NBA
Stackhouse was traded to the Grizzlies during the 2009 offseason. A day after being traded, he was waived by the team.
Halfway through the 2009-10 season, he signed a contract to join the Milwaukee Bucks for the rest of the year. He averaged 8.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 0.5 SPG while coming off the bench in all 42 games with the team. The Bucks finished the season sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 46-36 record. Milwaukee was eliminated in seven games by the Atlanta Hawks. Stackhouse came off the bench in all seven playoff games and put up 7.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, and 0.7 SPG.
The following offseason Stackhouse signed with the Miami Heat. His time on the Heat was short-lived as he was waived a month into the season. Stackhouse didn’t do that well in Miami, averaging 1.7 PPG, 1.0 RPG, and 0.4 APG in his seven games with the team where he came off the bench in all but one of the games.
The following offseason he signed with the Atlanta Hawks and played for them during the lockout-shortened season. He averaged 3.6 PPG, 0.8 RPG, and 0.5 APG in his 30 games off the bench. Atlanta made the playoffs as the fifth seed in the East with a 40-26 record. Their playoff journey didn’t last very long as they were eliminated in six games by the Boston Celtics. Stackhouse didn’t take part in any of the playoff games.
During the 2012 offseason, Stackhouse joined the Brooklyn Nets. He played in less than half of the regular season games with the team, 37 games, but still managed to improve his numbers a bit compared to his two prior seasons. In his 37 games off the bench, Stackhouse averaged 4.9 PPG, 0.9 RPG, and 0.9 APG. Brooklyn finished the season fourth in the East with a 49-33 record. The team’s playoff journey ended after seven games, losing the series to the Bulls. Stackhouse took part in four playoff games, all off the bench. In his four playoff games with the Nets, he averaged 1.3 PPG and 1.0 RPG.
Soon after the Nets were eliminated from the playoffs, Stackhouse announced his decision to retire.
Stackhouse’s five years with the Mavericks had their ups and downs but he made the most of what was given to him. He transitioned from being a quality sixth man on the team to being the veteran who helped mentor the younger guys. Stackhouse averaged 12.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, and 0.7 SPG with the Mavericks while only getting the start in 40 of his 246 games with the team.
Life After the NBA
In November 2013, Stackhouse joined Fox Sports Detroit as an analyst. He mainly covered Pistons games but also did some college basketball coverage for the ACC Network and Fox Sports Detroit.
During the 2015 offseason, Stackhouse joined Dwayne Casey’s Toronto Raptors coaching staff as an assistant coach. The Raptors finished second in the Eastern Conference with a 56-26 record. In the first round of the playoffs, Toronto took down the Indiana Pacers in seven games. They had another seven-game series, this time against the Heat, where they again came out on top. Their championship hopes ended in the Eastern Conference Finals where they lost in six games to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In September 2016, he was named the head coach of the Raptors 905, the Toronto Raptor’s D-League team. In his first season as head coach, his team won the NBA D-League championship and he was named the NBA D-League Coach of the Year.
Stackhouse was hired as an assistant coach for the 2018-2019 season, under Grizzlies’ head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. The Grizzlies went 33-49 for the season, finished twelfth in the Western Conference, and missed out on the playoffs.
In Stackhouse’s first year as head coach, the team finished 14th in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with a record of 11-21. Their record wasn’t good enough to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
The following season the team didn’t do any better, going 9-16 and finishing 13th in their conference. They missed out on March Madness for the second straight season.
During the 2021-22 season, Vanderbilt had their first winning season with Stackhouse as head coach. The Commodores went 19-17 and finished 11th in the SEC. The team was invited to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). In the first round of the tournament, they defeated Belmont University by 11 points. In the second round of the tourney, the Commodores had to put up more of a fight as they defeated the University of Dayton by only two points. In the tournament’s quarterfinal, Vanderbilt faced off against Xavier University but the Commodores lost the game by two points and were eliminated from the tournament.
Vanderbilt has started the 2022-23 season with a 6-6 record.
Stackhouse and his wife, Ramirra, have three children, Jaye, Antonio, and Alexis.
He is the younger brother of Tony Dawson, who played a handful of NBA games in the 90s. He is the uncle of Wake Forest University guard Craig Dawson.
Even though he left college after two years, he continued to work on his degree and earned his bachelor’s degree in African American Studies in 1999.
His No. 42 jersey is honored by his alma mater, UNC.
In 2017, Stackhouse completed the Harvard Business School’s executive education program. He was studying the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports.
Stackhouse was the star player of his team in high school, college, and in his earlier years in the NBA. Minor injuries and his time on the Wizards stalled his momentum and the world never got to see his full potential. He still had a very successful NBA career, becoming a two-time All-Star and averaging 16.9 PPG throughout his NBA career. Stackhouse was one of Dallas’ main spark plugs off the bench during the mid-2000s. Even though injuries and a change in coaches limited his playing time with the Mavericks, his contributions to the team’s success will never be forgotten by Mavs fans.