Jerry Stackhouse’s NBA career is a fascinating one.
When he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers back in 1995 he was the new face of the franchise, the star, the guy the Sixers were hitching their team to, something he recounts in a great feature at CSNPhilly.com. He remembers getting a hardhat, under-construction tour of what is now the Wells Fargo Center. That was going to be his house.
The next year, the Sixers drafted Allen Iverson and their plans changed.
Stackhouse has spent 18 years in the league, as a guy nearly putting up 30 a game in Detroit (2001) and as the sixth man on a finals team in Dallas (2006). Now he’s the sage veteran at the end of the bench in Brooklyn, a guy very much respected by players and coaches alike around the league.
Stackhouse would like to play 20 years in the NBA, he doesn’t want to walk away yet, he told CSNPhilly.com. But he has started to think about what’s next.
He mentioned broadcasting and coaching as possible options as well — and he would appear to be particularly well-suited for the latter, given the various roles he has filled during his playing career.
“My perfect route would be something like Mark Jackson,” he said, referring to the former broadcaster and current Golden State coach.
Go read the entire story, it’s a great look at the man. Stackhouse goes on to talk about Iverson and how the two likely never would have meshed on the court because of playing styles. And he talks about his versatility and lack of ego, which is why Stackhouse is still getting an NBA paycheck and Iverson is not.
Stackhouse would like to collect a few more of those paychecks before he is done.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.