DALLAS—On Tuesday, Jerry Stackhouse returned to American Airlines Center. That wasn’t big news because he’s returned with the Bucks, Heat, Hawks and Nets since spending five seasons as a Maverick.
But this trip was a bit different because it marked Stackhouse’s first time back as a coach. “Stack” is a first-year assistant to former Mavs assistant Dwane Casey, now the head coach of the Toronto Raptors.
And Casey couldn’t be happier to welcome him aboard.
“Well, right now he works with guys. He still physically can get out there and work and teach. He’s brought that element to our staff, which is huge,” Casey said. “We really utilize those guys [Stackhouse and Jamaal Magliore] a lot in that standpoint as far as in practice, when there’s days we can’t go five-on-five, but we got a pretty good coach’s group that can go. His and Jamaal’s number of years in the league are invaluable. They can talk to guys, mentor the guys in a coach’s way but also from a player’s standpoint.”
After practice and shoot-arounds, Stackhouse does individual work with players, exactly what he was doing after the Raptors’ shoot-around on Tuesday morning at AAC.
But the man who was the third pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, spent 18 seasons in the Association and is still only 40, admitted that returning to such familiar surroundings never gets old.
“Aw man, it’s always great to come to Dallas. This feels like home for me. This is where I probably had the biggest accomplishment team wise of any places I’ve been, having that trip to the [2006 NBA] Finals,” Stackhouse said. “It’s a special city, special fans, just looking forward to seeing everybody again. Got a lot of warm, special memories of my time here in Dallas.”
During his time with the Mavs, he played for two head coaches, first for Avery Johnson and then for current Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle.
But Avery and Rick are just two of the coaches he played for during his nearly two-decades in the League, all of whom have influenced him in developing his own coaching philosophy and style.
“Yeah, I definitely have. If I’m fortunate, one day I’m able to have my own situation to be a head coach. There’s things I’ve taken from everybody, from Doug Collins, from Rick Carlisle, from Avery Johnson to obviously Coach (Dean) Smith. And I think my principles and core of who I am in basketball still lead back to him (Smith),” Stackhouse said.
And the former two-time NBA All-Star couldn’t think of a better situation to start out in, working under Casey. “He lets us coach. He’s not [of the mindset] that I’m a rookie coach that I’m just shagging balls. Today was my [turn to] scout. Dallas was my [game to] scout, big game, their home opener and for him to trust me to scout, I just take it as a big pat on the back from the head man,” Stackhouse said.