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December 06, 2001

Outtakes: Jerry Stackhouse

UNCUT OUTTAKES: An expanded, uncut version of Dan Patrick's interview with Pistons swingman Jerry Stackhouse appears below; the condensed version appears in the April 2 edition of ESPN The Magazine.

Jerry Stackhouse
Detroit Pistons swingman Jerry Stackhouse eyes the basket.
DP: When do you look at individual stats? Can you look only in a victory?
JS: Yeah. I think that's the only way you can see positive in whatever you're doing individually.
DP: How important is it to lead the league in scoring?
JS: Oh, it's important. I mean, maybe 30 or so guys have led the league or were even close ... so I think it would be a real honor.
DP: So do you keep an eye on what Iverson and Kobe do?
JS: Yeah. We all watch each other.
DP: Do you know what Kobe did last night?
JS: Ah, yeah.
DP: Do you know what Iverson did last night?
JS: Yeah.
DP: Does that mean you have to step up your game a little bit more when you play the Bulls because they had good scoring nights?
JS: You look at every game as a step up. You don't think, "Those guys had good games last night." You've got to come and have a big game. You want to do that for the sake of the team winning. But, you know, it does give you some motivation. I mean, in an 82-game season, on some nights you've got to look for a motivating factor. And I have a motivating factor every game, just from the standpoint of being this close to the scoring title.

DP: Characterize your relationship with Iverson.
JS: It isn't really about basketball. Like when we saw each other at the All-Star Game, we hung out, laughed, talked -- there's never any animosity because of the trade. Allen and I joke about the trade.
DP: Is your friendship with Grant Hill beyond repair? There were quotes attributed to you saying that the Pistons may be better off without Grant Hill.
JS: No. I talked to Grant at the All-Star Game. I was baited on the subject, honestly. I basically agreed with a statement, the next thing you know it's my statement. Over the long haul, if he didn't want to be here, then yeah, we're better off. But there's no need to cry over spilled milk. Grant is gone, that's it.

DP: Has your arm ever hurt from shooting too much?
JS: No [laughs]. I don't think that's possible.
DP: Would you like to try to find out if that's possible?
JS: My philosophy is you can't score a hundred unless you shoot at least 50 times.

DP: Best Tar Heel in the NBA.
JS: Oh man, I can give you the best five.
DP: No, I want the best Tar Heel.
JS: I've got to say myself.
DP: Is there competition between you guys?
JS: I don't think so. I think we look at it more as us against them -- you know, us against other schools. I mean, we're looking forward to Joseph Forte joining the fraternity.

DP: Have you tried to talk to Rasheed Wallace about staying in the game?
JS: When we were in high school and college I did. But now, even as close as we are, I feel out of place saying something to him. The techs are what get Rasheed going. He doesn't mind paying the fines.
DP: So Rasheed is misunderstood.
JS: I think so. People think of players in this cops and robbers kind of way. But if you notice, Rasheed has never had any confrontation with any other player on the opposing team.
DP: He just has a problem with authority.
JS: Oh, I won't go that far.
DP: Or just somebody who's wearing a striped shirt?
JS: Yeah.

DP: In a way, you're lucky that you don't have to play with a big man. You know, Kobe has to play with Shaq and keep Shaq happy. Could you play with Shaq on the same team and keep him happy and satisfy your own needs at the same time?
JS: I think so. I think Kobe's doing it. Kobe is able to put up the numbers and be on a great team. I don't see the problem.
DP: But he gets yelled at by Shaq all the time and they're not on the same page. There's tension there.
JS: I think a lot of it is created, through.
DP: Are you going to blame us?
JS: Yeah.
DP: OK, blame the media.
JS: [laughs] A lot of it is created through you guys. You're starting a debate there, but there's no debate -- Shaq is the most dominant player in the league. He should be the dominant player. But on Kobe's side, you know, he's a competitor. Nobody could have gotten to this point ... of having the talent you have if you didn't come with some type of ego that goes along with basketball. I don't think it necessarily has anything to do with how you are away from the game.

DP: Without tampering with Chris Webber, how do you talk to him and convince him to come to Detroit? You're allowed to talk to him, you just can't do anything publicly.
JS: That's his decision. It kind of falls in the same line as Grant Hill's thing. I'm not going to jeopardize my team's situation or try to better my situation by going out and saying this and that. I mean, Grant did what he had to do and Chris is going to do what he feels is the best thing for him to do. I would hope that it would be Detroit, without a doubt, but that's his decision.

DP: What hurts more, a loss by the Pistons or a loss by North Carolina?
JS: Oh man, my loss, of course, is worse. But a Carolina loss burns deep. I can deal with losses to Wake Forest, because my nephew's on that team. That's the only time I have a bias. But really, all losses are equally bad. Oh, except to Duke -- I really hate losses to Duke.
DP: So when Carolina loses to Duke, that may supersede a loss by the Pistons? That one hurts a little bit more?
JS: That's right there. I mean, they're neck-and-neck.
DP: What kind of job do you think Matt Doherty has done so far?
JS: I think he's done a great job. I wasn't sure at first, when he got rid of all the coaches who coached me, but ... I have to say he's done a great job there. They're right back where we belong, at the top of the conference, and now we've got a great chance of doing some damage in the tournament.

DP: Give me your Final Four this year -- well, it's your final three, because you're going to include North Carolina.
JS: Right, right. Illinois, Duke, if they're in the right bracket, they should get there. And then -- there's always a toss-up. There's always a Cinderella.
DP: How about Monmouth?
JS: [laughs] You know who has been playing pretty good? Maybe Georgetown.
DP: So Georgetown is in there in the Final Four?
JS: Yeah.
DP: All right. I know who wins, so I won't even ask it.
JS: Carolina will win. Beat the hell out of Georgetown, and then play Duke for the championship.

DP: Give me a player who once played the game that you think your game is similar to or who you would model your game after.
JS: Probably Adrian Dantley.
DP: Now I wouldn't have put you two together. Although you shoot a lot of free throws and so did he.
JS: Right.
DP: But...
JS: It was more attacking -- I mean, attacking the basket and scoring. ... He was always right there. And I like Worthy too. I think our games are similar. We're able to get on the break. Maybe a combination of Adrian Dantley and James Worthy.

DP: Define a clutch player.
JS: A player who not only wants to take the shot at the end of a game, but percentage-wise makes most of them.
DP: Can being clutch be taught or learned?
JS: No, I don't think so -- I think its something that you gotta want to do. I think it's your personality. Your personality has got to say I want to -- I want to be the hero.

DP: What are your favorite nicknames in the NBA? Because nicknames are a lost art. We shorten up people's names -- like you're Stack. I like Iverson because he's The Answer. At least that's something unique. That's old-school. Where have all the great nicknames gone?
JS: I don't know. The Regulator: that's my nickname nobody really knows about.
DP: OK, we can work with that. Other nicknames out there?
JS: Stevie Franchise.
DP: That's Steve Francis' nickname -- OK.
JS: Yeah, that's pretty good. I like that. And then there's Vinsanity.
DP: All right.
JS: And I have my own nickname for Kobe nobody knows: Showboat.
DP: He may not like that.
JS: I never worry too much about that.
DP: Is there a rivalry between you and Kobe because of the scoring title?
JS: No. Kobe and I came up about the same time. When I first went to Philadelphia and he was in high school, we used to play one-on-one. John Lucas had us playing one-on-one all the time and ... I knew then that we both wanted to excel and do the things that we're doing now. But it's never really become a rivalry. I mean, he's always approached me with what I felt was respect and I think I've done the same.

DP: If there were a game of one-on-one between the head coaches, who do you think would win?
JS: Doc Rivers probably could still play in the league now.
DP: Phil Jackson's still tall, though.
JS: It wouldn't matter. That's all he would be -- tall...
DP: Who else would be good? Pat Reilly's too old. George Karl used to be a hustling kind of guy. He wouldn't fit in. Anybody else that you look at and say, "He could play the game."
JS: I don't know. Larry Brown, he probably would get in a fight so nobody would win that game.
DP: Alvin Gentry could probably still play some.
JS: I was with Alvin last year, and he can still go up there and dunk it.
DP: Alvin Gentry can still dunk?
JS: Alvin can still dunk. I forgot about Al.

DP: What's the music attached to your highlight reel?
JS: Anything by Method Man. Or Redman.
DP: Method Redman?
JS: Come on, Dan. You should know these artists.
DP: I do, I'm just kidding there. You know I'm down.

DP: Favorite movie star.
JS: I will go with Denzel.

DP: You get paid to wear Jordan's shoes, right? Is it nice to take money from him when you wear his shoes?
JS: That's probably the only way you can get it. You probably can't get it in a one-on-one game. Jordan's going to get all the calls even in one-on-one.
DP: Or golf.
JS: You know how much he wants to win. He would do it. He'd make every call in one-on-one.
DP: Is he no fun to play against in the summer pick-up games?
JS: No, he's still the best player. I look at that game in the summer when he comes down to Greensboro -- he hasn't played in a couple of years now, mostly it's just been Vince and I going head-to-head. But when he was playing, that was like playing his Bulls or the Lakers now. The biggest game of the summer.

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