Michael Jordan – according to Ray Lewis – regrets playing for the Wizards.
Jordan wouldn’t be the only one who wishes his stint in Washington never happened.
Between Jordan’s two seasons with the Wizards, they traded Richard Hamilton to the Pistons for Jerry Stackhouse.
Stackhouse on The Woj Pod:
Honestly, I wish I never played in Washington, for a number of reasons. I felt like we were on our way in Detroit before I got traded there. But it was really challenging to be able to be in a situation with an idol who – at this particular point, I felt like I was a better player. And things were still being run through Michael Jordan. And I think Doug Collins – I love Doug. But I think that was an opportunity for him to make up for some ill moments that they may have had back in Chicago. So, pretty much everything that Michael wanted to do. We got off to a pretty good start, and then I think he didn’t like the way the offense was running, because it was running a little bit more through me. He wanted to get a little more isolations on the post, of course, so we had more isolations for him on the post. And it just kind of spiraled in a way that where I didn’t enjoy that season at all. Kind of the picture that I had in my mind of Michael Jordan and the reverence I had for him, I lost a little bit of it during the course of that year.
It’s surprising Stackhouse admitted this. Jordan is so revered, and Stackhouse is a fellow North Carolina Tar Heel.
It’s unsurprising Stackhouse felt this way. He was just coming into his own as a player. Stackhouse became an All-Star in Detroit then altered his game to better fit a team construct, helping to key the Pistons’ sudden emerge as a good team. Then, he had to defer to Jordan on a mediocre Wizards team? That’s tough.
Jordan was also a demanding teammate and larger-than-life presence. That played well when he was at the peak of his powers. By his Washington days, it wasn’t quite as endearing.
I can’t help but think of Kobe Bryant, who wanted to join Jordan on the Wizards. I bet, at one point, Stackhouse would’ve also wished to play with Jordan. But they say “never meet your heroes” for a reason. Bryant was spared the frustrations Stackhouse faced.
Don’t blame Jordan for continuing to play after his Bulls tenure. He had the itch, and a team wanted him. He earned his place on the Wizards’ roster and atop the power structure. Stackhouse’s happiness was just an unfortunate casualty of the situation. That’s sometimes how it goes for players whom the team isn’t build around.