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Jerry Stackhouse – Don’t Stick a Fork in Him Yet.

Not done yet.
Not done yet.

Jerry Stackhouse is well. But he is not done.

I was just thinking, when he does retire, he’s a natural for a steakhouse or a pancake house.

I guess I’m providing the ‘change of pace’ articles to intersperse with Celtic playoff stuff for the next day or so.

Here is a piece where Jerry Stackhouse talked with Celticsblog.

It includes his take on the current Bucks and why he believes they are successful. Hint: it is not just Scott Skiles. In fact, he disagrees that Skiles gets team to overachieve. But he believes former players (like Skiles) make better coaches than non-players. He also mentions a few coaches and why they are good, in his opinion.

A quote or two have been used in the previous Scott Skiles piece and are repeated here for continuity and flow.

Recent History

Stackhouse played just 10 games for Dallas last season, due to foot and knee injuries, and was traded to Memphis in the off season. He was a part of the 4 team trade that revolved around the Dallas acquisition of Shawn Marion and the Hedo Turkoglu sign-and-trade to Toronto.

Perhaps surprisingly, Jerry Stackhouse did not make being on a title contending team his priority as he makes the slow treck to NBA’s elephant burial grounds for older players. (No, not in Boston, but I heard you thinking it.)

In fact, with all the off season rest, he said he was feeling ‘fresh legs’ and was still able to help a team in a meaningful way. It appears he wanted more than a ceremonial seat on the bench on a top team. His role was more important. (See Michael Finley)

Jerry Stackhouse -Not Obsessing for a Ring

Memphis bought out the final year of his contract for $2 million before the season started, making him an unrestricted free agent. He auditioned over the summer for the New York Knicks and turned down an offer from the Houston Rockets. He also had an offer to join the Atlanta Hawks. At one point, it was rumored that the Celtics might be interested in him, as well.

It wasn’t until January 17th that he found a team where the situation felt right for him, the 16-23 (at the time) Milwaukee Bucks, where he signed for the pro-rated veteran minimum. ($422,460 according to

Basic Background Stuff
This would be his 5th team in his 15th season in the NBA in a career that included two All Star appearances and an NBA scoring title (29.8 pts. in 2001)

An 18.6 career scorer, Stackhouse is a player who can still create his own shot, especially against a second unit, and isn’t afraid to take it to the hoop. He was first in the league in free throws made twice, and second in the NBA in free throw attempts in 3 different seasons – the last time in 2001.

Stackhouse’ rookie year he was a team mate of Scott Skiles on Philadelphia in Skiles’ final
season as a player.

With the Bucks
At the time of the signing, coach Skiles said

"We're not signing him to be on the inactive list," Skiles said. "We'll activate him right away and get him in a game. That's our plan."

If, at age 35, being more than 'insurance at the end of bench' was a goal, Jerry waited for the right team. He played 20:23 minutes per game in 42 games, scoring 8.5 points on 40.8% from the floor and 34.6 from the three point arc.  

So here are some observations from one of the league’s elder statesmen.

CB: What makes a good coach or bad coach, in your opinion?

 JS: I think it helps if you had played. Obviously there are some good coaches that hadn’t played and had successful coaching careers. But I think whenever you can put yourself in the player’s shoes, when you’ve been there, I think that’s…to me…a good prerequisite for being a good coach.

And I think that’s where Scott excels. I mean, he knows when guys are tired. He knows when they need a blow. He knows when they need to get pushed.

You can only have that kind of intuition if you played, and you know what guys are feeling. So I think that’s one of his strong suits.

But he’s business-like. He comes in. He approaches it like a business. He holds guys accountable and there’s not a lot of…’rah rah’ stuff from him. It’s pretty much straight forward. 'This is what we need to do. If we do this'…then our chances of winning are greater than they are if we don’t.

CB: In terms of getting the most out of his talent, it seems like he’s been in situations where he’s been able to get players, depending on how you want to look at it, to achieve to their talent level, or to overachieve. What would you say would be the reason for that?

(Mr. Stackhouse just came from the deli, I think. This article begins and ends with food, too. Bonus. Now... to the meat of the article.)

JS: I think that’s all baloney. I think it’s umm…guys are…you’re not in the NBA if you don’t have talent. So it’s a matter of, I think, he has a way of… his teams play hard. So it seems like you’re getting more out of them than what you are. But it’s talented groups wherever he’s been.

There’s talented players here. Maybe they hadn’t been able to put it all together to get noticed like they have this year…or Chicago. When you look at the players he’s had in Chicago, they (are) still good players.

CB: That is true. (CB note: Ersan Ilyasova is a solid player flying under the radar right now. Luc Mbah A Moute is an active young defender still learning the game. Brandon Jennings has shown a world of potential. Luke Ridnour could start for some teams. Andrew Bogut just keeps getting better. Kurt Thomas is a solid back up center. Carlos Delfino has found the right team to utilize his talents. Yet, one wonders if most coaches would be getting the same results that Skiles is from this group. Putting ‘it all together’ is what it is all about.)

JS: It is…like I said…his approach and how he brings it to the game…the team...defend and play hard…are his well known opinions about things.

CB: This team’s defense is rated 2nd second in the league by one rating system.

JS: Yeah well, obviously…(changes thought)… we got different schemes that I hadn’t really seen in 15 years of playing, playing for different coaches. We’ve got a scheme, some defensive schemes that I hadn’t seen…that works.

CB: Want to share them? (Hey, I knew the answer was ‘no’. That was my own 'scheme'.)

JS: I can’t do that. (smile) But they work and I think they’re one of the reasons why (we) give teams problems, try to…one thing is just protecting the paint, by all costs, just protecting the paint. Of course teams become jump shooters, when teams get in your paint and get in the middle and score baskets and then…(trouble)

Not only will it bode well for you but if you make them, force them to be perimeter. Then, you know, you’re going to run into some hot teams sometimes that are going to shoots lights out from the perimeter and beat you by consistently making them shoot outside shots and you still contest those shots…(but) I think the numbers are in the defense’s favor.

CB: They say that teams often take on the personality of their coach. Would you say that’s true generally? And is that true here?

JS: Yeah, I think the personality of this group is kind of…it has a nice international flair. There are guys that… it was always big business for them as far as international basketball goes, since they were teenagers. (note: He is talking primarily about Ersan Ilyasova, and Carlos Delphino) So they approach the game a little differently than a normal 21 or 22 year old that’s coming maybe out of college…so I think it is a good mix on that.

But the idea of this group is similar to Scott’s. Like I said…that’s the business type approach. You come in and do your work. Just go out and be professional and handle our business. And I think that’s definitely kind of a mark of who he is.

CB: At one point, the Bucks starting line up was from 5 different countries. How does that affect the mix? Everybody talks about Toronto, but the Bucks are right there.

JS: But a point from this group, a lot of these guys have been here. I think only Ersan is the only one that didn’t actually play college ball in the states. So they’ve kind of been acclimated with ‘western ways’ so to speak.

Just the have guys that shoot the ball, big guys that can shoot the ball. Real skilled players, Andrew (Bogut) was at the top of that. Unfortunately for him (about his injury)… but he was having an all league year.

Stackhouse's Quick List of Coaches

CB: Getting back to the coaching thing, in your career, who would you say was, maybe the best coach you had played for?

JS: Umm…everybody had a different skill set. But I think as far as a motivator, Avery Johnson was definitely one of the best motivators that I’ve played for.

As far as just drawing up a play at the end of the game…Doug Collins is one of the best, you know what I’m saying.

So as far as being a tactician and knowing all the stats, Rick Carlisle is right up there. So I’ve played for some pretty good coaches.

CB: Your own career here has been resurrected. When they signed you, what did they say they wanted from you?

JS: Just to come and provide some leadership. You know, some toughness…to a group that was… struggling a little bit. Just kind of come in and share my experience and not try to do anything other than what I felt I’m capable of.

I still felt that I had something to offer on the court but with this particular situation, it might even be more so in the locker room…away from the court…I might have more of an impact.

CB: And your plans for the future? What are you thinking about?

JS: I’m going to keep playing forever. (laughing)   As long as I can, I’m going to keep playing.

CB: Would this be the team you would like to come back to? Or are you going to see what’s out there?

JS: Oh, I don’t know that. It’s too early to talk about that. I’m just happy to be in the playoffs right now.

Though his role with Bucks has been a substantial one, it sounds like he is leaving the door open for next season.

In a separate Celticsblogs’ interview with Kurt Thomas, Kurt said he definitely wants to come back the Bucks and enjoys playing with this team, Stackhouse wasn’t willing to make similar statements to grease things for a contract for next season. But it doesn’t mean he won’t later, either.

Anyway, out of the mind of an NBA veteran to Celticsblog readers on an up and coming Buck team, their coach and his own role. Hope you found something of interest in his thoughts.

So when he does retire...

1) Jerry’s Steakhouse

2) The Stackhouse Steakhouse

3) Jerry's Stack House

4) Stackhouse’s Stack of Pancakes...uh...House

Vote early. Vote often. Lines close at 10:00.

(My non-Celtic articles are like the comedians they would bring in between strippers in the old vaudeville shows. Nobody’s listening and everyone can’t wait until the strippers are back on.)

 Just call me Rodney.


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