When I found out that Jerry Stackhouse had signed a one-year, veteran's minimum deal to join the new-look Brooklyn Nets this season, I had the same reaction that a lot of you probably did: "Hey, it's cool that Jerry's coming out of retirement!" Imagine my surprise and embarrassment at learning that Stackhouse actually played in 30 games for the Atlanta Hawks last season, and that the veteran swingman is, in fact, 37 years old and not "a billion," as I'd guessed.
At the time, Stackhouse told Fox Sports Florida's Chris Tomasson that he viewed his upcoming stint in Brooklyn as something of a yearlong internship, noting that it came about after he contacted Nets coach Avery Johnson "to pick his brain about" coaching and entering "the next phase of [his] career."
He got some important X's and O's work in at the Greater N.C. Pro-Am on Wednesday night, according to Howard Gutmann at the Herald-Sun newspaper of Durham, N.C.. As you can see in the video above, Stackhouse won the game he helped found three years ago by hitting a 25-foot buzzer-beater, giving his Banks Law Firm team a two-point win over rival DTLR. How did he do it? "By drawing up a play for himself," according to Gutmann.
As Bo Ingram, who scored a game-high 39 points, drew the attention of the defense, Stackhouse ran up from the baseline to catch the inbounds pass, turned and launched a floater that swished through, showing that Pro-Am announcer Bill Murphy chose the right nickname when he called the organizer "Jerry Buckets."
"Bo has been going well all day, so I drew up the play for him to come off three screens and be the decoy, and I was going to follow it up," Stackhouse said. "It worked out well to diagram a play and have guys execute it without a board, so I have to give them credit, too."
I mean, what's the sense in founding a pro-am game in your home state if you can't parachute in for the night, draw up the final play of the game for yourself and take the ball out of the hands of a guy who'd scored more than half your team's points? If you're going to do something charitable, you might as well have fun doing it. Besides, that's classic misdirection by Stackhouse. I'm sure when he was a young guy scoring 40 on people, he totally would have respected such a sound strategic decision.
Given Stack's stated interest in being "like another assistant coach for the Nets," according to Fox's Tomasson, it'll be interesting to see if he tries to bring his end-game out-of-bounds play designs to Brooklyn's bench. On the one hand, it'll probably work even better if he gets to actually draw it up on a dry erase board; on the other, it's hard to see Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and Mirza Teletovic all being willing to be decoys so that Stack can take a contested 25-footer. Too much insistence could screw up the Nets' chemistry.