Former UNC Tar Heels Player Reveals When Michael Jordan Embarrassed Jerry Stackhouse in Practice

Published 02/10/2021, 2:00 PM CST
DATE: 10/20/01 PHOTO BY : JOEL RICHARDSON DIG MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE WIZARDS HOST NEW JERSEY NETS (Photo by The The Washington Post via Getty Images) | Courtesy: Getty Images


When Michael Jordan was with the North Carolina Tar Heels, he would destroy the opposition. But there were a few occasions where other Tar Heels would get destroyed by him too. After leaving for the NBA, sometimes during the off-season, he would drop by and play at the Dean E. Smith Center.

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Former Tar Heel Ademola Okulaja recently revealed one of Jordan’s best duels during this off-season practice. He went head-to-head against two-time All-Star Jerry Stackhouse and embarrassed him.

“It was summer time, and Stack came,” Okulaja said. “We played full court and Stack was just destroying. Then Michael came in and he warned up and said I got next.”

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“We kept playing and Michael went right at stack. I don’t think he scored for the rest of the night. That’s the first time you see real trash-talking, face-to-face. Before Michael walked in, he was Michael. He did everything, and we were like wow that’s a superstar. Until Mr. Superstar walked in. The first game he had 50, when Michael walked in, I don’t know if he had a basket.”

Michael Jordan and his infamous team-up Jerry Stackhouse

That first encounter was in 1995 when Stackhouse had just declared for the Draft and left UNC. Stackhouse played two seasons and won multiple accolades before he left. Seven years later, Stackhouse was playing for the Pistons but got traded to the Wizards in 2002, when a 39-year-old Michael Jordan was still in town.

This Tar Heel partnership produced 41.5 points per game, 21.5 points per game from Stackhouse, and 20 points per game from Jordan. But the Wizards only won 37 games and missed the playoffs for the sixth year in a row.

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Last year, Stackhouse revealed he wished he never played with Jordan at Washington. He spoke about how the coach did whatever Jordan wanted, and when Jordan was unhappy about the offense running through him, he changed it up. He chose to make a 39-year-old Jordan the #1 option ahead of the 28-year-old Stackhouse.

That made the experience sour for him, and he said that he lost reverence that he had for Jordan. The six-time champion retired after that season, while Stackhouse played another season before leaving.

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Aaron Mathew

1640 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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