Stackhouse not surprised Sheed went to NY

While many people were skeptical about Rasheed Wallace coming out of retirement to join the Knicks, his college teammate Jerry Stackhouse, now on the Brooklyn Nets, wasn't at all.

Stackhouse, who teamed up with Wallace to lead North Carolina to the 1995 Final Four, said that his former sidekick had always been talking about the Knicks, and was playing basketball regularly in the offseason to make a return to the NBA. He only wishes that Wallace was on the other side of the East River.

"I'm a little upset," Stackhouse told ESPNNewYork.com on Wednesday night at a TopSpin charity event in New York City. "It's kind of bittersweet because I feel like he should've been playing with us. But I know when he was in college, he was a huge Knicks fan, so it didn't surprise me that he came back to them. I have a summer league in Chapel Hill that I play in, and he hadn't missed a game."

Both players are now 38. Stackhouse said that even though the NBA is a lot different now -- faster pace, fewer post-ups -- experienced players can still make an impact.

"It's almost like the game slows down for us," Stackhouse said. "It's almost easier playing the game. We're probably not going to jump up and touch the top of the backboard or 360 like we used to, but our game is a level above a lot of the guys we're playing against."

While Stackhouse has played a few sporadic minutes off the bench for the Nets, Wallace has quickly become a key contributor in the Knicks' second unit. Mike Woodson has turned to him for his defense, with Marcus Camby slowly betting back into form, and his 3-point shooting.

This past summer, Wallace and Stackhouse continued their involvement together coaching in the prestigious NC Pro-Am Skills And Development Camp on UNC's campus.

"We actually run a little mini-camp with some (Division I) prospects," Stackhouse said. "It's awesome, man. We sit there and teach the kids and show them nuances. It's a lot of fun. Sheed's language is a lot different than mine, but they respect the hell out of him."

Because the Knicks-Nets highly anticipated season opener was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy, the first time they meet is on Nov. 26 in Brooklyn (the rescheduled date). But there won't be any trash talking between Wallace and Stackhouse.

"There's no rivalry because we both went to UNC," Wallace told ESPNNewYork.com recently. "That's my man."

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