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Jerry Stackhouse opens up about the challenge of being compared to Michael Jordan growing up

Stackhouse recently sat down with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes to discuss his Michael Jordan comparisons throughout his high school and college career.
Jerry Stackhouse & Michael Jordan

Jerry Stackhouse & Michael Jordan

It's not every day that a player is compared to Michael Jordan, but that is exactly what former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse experienced growing up in North Carolina.

The initial comparisons between the two were justified

To this day, Jordan is widely considered the greatest player ever to lace them up, but it didn't stop Stackhouse from being mentioned in the same breath as he moved through his high school and college journey.

The comparisons were justified, as the Philadelphia 76ers selected Stackhouse with the third overall pick in the 1995 draft. The top five selection was a result of Stackhouse shining in college at North Carolina, one of the leading basketball programs in the country, who also had the services of Jordan between 1981 to 1984.

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By the time Stackhouse entered the league, Jordan was already dubbed the greatest player in the history of the NBA and on the verge of embarking on his second three-peat.

Despite being linked to Jordan's untouchable legacy, Stackhouse recently sat down with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on their podcast "All The Smoke" to discuss embracing the MJ comparisons early on.

"A lot of the things that I did in my state hadn't been done since MJ, so naturally we had those comparisons. But it was more flattering for me than anything, but you know, I'm a competitor. Again like I said I'm the youngest of eight boys, Michael Jordan is just another brother to me. You know what I'm saying, I look forward to the opportunity and I was nervous as hell. But you know what I'm saying, I got out there and I got comfortable like anything else. You know I kind of got into my bag and a little bit driving. You know, he was giving me the jump shot, you know 'shoot it, shoot it', and I couldn't really shoot it like that at that time so I'm just trying to drive it around him and get it in there again and try and use my strength because I was probably 218, 220 when I was playing and I was a power forward and that was my mindset."

Stackhouse still had a respectable NBA career

Stackhouse may not have reached the unworldly heights of Jordan during his playing days, but he certainly carved out an incredibly successful career in the association.

Posting a career average of 16.9 points and suiting up for 970 games, Stackhouse spent 18 fruitful seasons in the NBA, playing for 8 different franchises in that span.

The Carolina native was named an All-Star on two consecutive occasions between 2000 and 2001 and currently coaches the Vanderbilt University after successful coaching stints as an assistant for the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies between 2015 and 2019. 

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