- The Washington Times - Monday, November 15, 2004

Jerry Stackhouse has no regrets about his experience in Washington, mostly because he believes he’s where he should be.

“Ultimately, I think I’m in a better situation,” said Stackhouse after scoring 28 points yesterday in Dallas’ 122-113 victory over the Wizards. “And ultimately, Washington is in a better situation. Washington got a younger player. They needed more frontcourt guys because they have a lot of pieces in the backcourt. I figure it’s a win-win for both sides.”

Washington last summer traded Stackhouse, 30, along with Christian Laettner and the draft rights to Devin Harris in exchange for Antawn Jamison, 28, and cash considerations. He missed 54 games because of right knee surgery last season, and Stackhouse wasn’t himself when he did play. Stackhouse, who has averaged 20.9 points in his career, came off the bench in all but nine games last season to average a career-low 13.9.

Stackhouse spent two seasons with the Wizards, leading the team in scoring (21.5) in 2002-03 after the Wizards acquired him from Detroit for Richard Hamilton.

But last year was far different. The situation reached a low point when Stackhouse announced on Feb.28 he was going to miss the remainder of the season — without consulting with the team — to let his aching knee heal. This was after Stackhouse scored 20 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out five assists against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Eventually, Stackhouse returned to the Wizards and played a reduced role as the team stumbled to a 25-57 record.

When Stackhouse met with president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld and coach Eddie Jordan at the conclusion of the 2003-04 season, he got the feeling the Wizards would do their best to deal him to a good team if they indeed traded him.

“There were issues that I addressed with this team, with Eddie and Ernie throughout the season and after the season,” Stackhouse said. “It wasn’t anything personal against them or the organization. It’s just that coming into my 10th year I wanted to be in a situation where I can win. I feel like I’m in the prime of my career despite the injury. I’m playing my best basketball and I know the most about the game that I have at any point in my career. Why would I want to waste that in a rebuilding situation?”

Stackhouse, who is coming off the bench this season, came into yesterday’s game averaging 13.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He had his best game of the season Saturday when he played 40 minutes against New Jersey and finished with 28 points.

As is often the case when a former Wizard returns to MCI Center, Stackhouse was mostly booed yesterday. Stackhouse, who still owns a house in the area, nevertheless says he feels no ill will toward his old team.

“I don’t regret it all,” Stackhouse said. “I found a church here [First Baptist Church of Glenarden] that was real huge for me and helped my overall life. I look at it, and that could have been the whole reason for coming to Washington.”

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