Raptors 905 head coach & NBA legend, Jerry Stackhouse checked in with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson and the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Press Play Below To Listen!
Taking a cursory look around the NBA, the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors are still in the hunt for a new head coach.
Names like San Antonio Spurs assistant coach, Becky Hammon and former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, David Blatt have been floating around.
But don’t count out retired NBA vet Jerry Stackhouse. A two-time NBA All-Star, Stackhouse played in the NBA for 18 seasons. After retiring from the game in 2016, Stackhouse went right into coaching; becoming head coach of Raptors 905, the Toronto Raptors’ G-League team. Since taking the helm in the 6, Stackhouse and Raptors 905 made back-to-back finals appearances and won the G-League championship in 2017. Stackhouse also became the league’s coach of the year in 2017.
Drafted 3rd in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, Stackhouse was a superstar at the University of North Carolina under head coach, Dean Smith. Stackhouse says that during his playing days with the Dallas Mavericks, where he made a cameo in the 2006 NBA Finals and played under head coach, Avery Johnson, the light began to flicker that maybe coaching is something he could do after his playing career ended.
“Avery took over and it was just the same language that I learned from Coach Smith and how I think the game should be played and how to share the ball, how you play the game defensively, it was all the same language,” Jerry Stackhouse told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I got a lot of that from [Gregg] Popovich, Popovich got a lot of that from Larry Brown, who had got a lot from coach Smith. So, I think once we were able to kind of align our minds, we thought this was really good and obviously we had good players, a good team and we made it to the Finals. So yeah, that was kind of the start of my thinking about coaching because Avery put me in that role.”
Many were surprised that the Toronto Raptors fired head coach, Dwane Casey; who by the way is still in the running for the NBA’s Coach of the Year.
Could Stackhouse, already aligned with the organization, be the team’s next head coach?
Or, could Stack head over to a Pistons team where he once posted a career-high average of 29.8 points per game?
Aside from being a great NBA player, Stackhouse still has credibility with youngsters who once donned his Fila sneakers and watched him be teammates with Michael Jordan with the Washington Wizards and team with Dirk Nowitzki with the Mavs and Allen Iverson with the Sixers.
He’s a players coach. Don Nelson had rapport with players during Stak’s career and he experienced it when he came over to the Mavs in 2004. “I really enjoyed playing for Nelly,” said Stackhouse.
“I didn’t know that I would have when we first got together. It kind of seemed like it was a throw in for a bigger deal that they were trying to do. I think there were whispers that Shaq was available and that there was possibly a trade for Shaq at that time. So I never thought it was going to be home for me or turn into kind of a resting spot for a while but we hit it off really good.”
Rick Carlisle also influenced him too.
He’d realize it later on in life, though. “I was playing for him,we didn’t see eye to eye all the time,” said Stackhouse.
“His thoughts or philosophies for the game, but now that I’m on the coaching side, I see where he was trying to get over. Like I said, I played for a lot of smart coaches and now I’m just trying to apply those things and input my own touch to it as well and to hopefully have a good system this year as well as try to develop guys.”