I’m not sure what we’d do without the Internet. In past generations, they had the newspaper and Sunday afternoon matinees. Now, we have forum threads, we have Twitter, ESPN, rumor wires, we have pretty much everything. It’s easy to spread gossip. If you’ve been hanging around the Interwebs for a while, then you’ve probably heard tremors about what I’m going to tell you: Jerry Stackhouse is a bad mother. Some NBA players are known for being crazy (Ron Artest/Metta World Peace). Others are known for rolling super deep (Stephen Jackson/Chris Mills). Then you have a guy like Charles Oakley, who gets a category all to himself. But Stack might be one of the few everyone knows you don’t mess with.
Earlier today, we posted video of Stackhouse, who was signed by Brooklyn this summer, but figures to spend more time learning from Avery Johnson to make the transition towards coaching than actually playing, getting dunked on again in the Greater NC Pro-Am. If you can recall, John Wall once did the same thing to him in the same gym. So I joked if people keep flushing highlights on his head, he might get pissed off and start laying them out.
Why? He has a history of doing it. He may have been the first player to start wearing tights in games – once half the NBA caught on, the league offices banned them – but as was detailed in the awesome book about Michael Jordan, “When Nothing Else Matters”, the man could issue a bad whooping if he was pushed far enough. For crying out loud, some fans started calling him Jerry “Mortal Combat” Stackhouse at one point.
Just check out what he once said about Byron Scott:
“I don’t think Byron Scott is the best coach or I don’t think he’s the best guy to deal with — you know what I’m sayin? — from some things that I’ve heard from other players and just some dealings that I had with him earlier in the season. I was about ready to kick his ass — you know what I’m sayin? He was sitting on the sideline and we just got into a little conversation or something and he was going to tell me, you know, ‘Talk to me when you get a ring.’ I was like, I told that fool, ‘If I played with Magic and Worthy and Kareem I’d have a ring, too. So, you know, he’s a sucker in my book, but that’s a whole other story.”
Byron Scott was a coach then with New Orleans, by the way.
Here are the top five stories of Stackhouse beating down another fellow NBA player…
*** *** ***
5. ALLEN IVERSON VS. JERRY STACKHOUSE
I very nearly put Manu Ginobili in this spot after watching video of Stackhouse choke slam him and then pin his head to the floor during a Dallas and San Antonio matchup. But the now 37-year-old didn’t discriminate when it came to handing out ass whoopings. He can lay hands on a foreign player, or he might just go after a teammate in practice.
Back when Iverson and Stack were two young guns in Philly, there were all sorts of rumors flying around that they didn’t get along. Some of it seemed true; others were just fabrications. But one disagreement definitely happened.
During a morning shootaround in March of 1997, the two stars came to blows. One source told The New York Daily News Stackhouse started it by punching Iverson in the head.
Both guys downplayed it later, and said they were cool with each other. But Stackhouse did drop this: “It was a fight between one guy who doesn’t know how to fight and another guy who didn’t want to.”
Later that day, Stackhouse would shoot 3-for-14 in a loss to the Knicks, so maybe it did have an effect on him.
4. CHRISTIAN LAETTNER VS. JERRY STACKHOUSE
In the prequel to Tony Allen vs. O.J. Mayo‘s “When Card Games Go Wrong,” Stack and Laettner got into it on a plane ride when they were both playing for the Pistons. The reasoning? Reportedly, they started beefing over $2,000 in a card game, and before anyone else on the plane knew what was happening, punches were flying. One fellow player said Stackhouse landed a few blows to the former Dukies’ face.
“I couldn’t believe it. I looked up and they were going at it, throwing blows. I wasn’t about to get in the middle of it,” one player who was not identified told The Detroit Free-Press.
3. JEFF HORNACEK VS. JERRY STACKHOUSE
At the time, Hornacek thought he knew what was bothering Stackhouse.
“I played in Philadelphia a year and a half,” he said at the time. “I know how the frustration mounts.”
Well damn. Yes, Philly was a bad team, really bad actually. This was Stackhouse’s rookie year, and even though he dropped 19.2 points a night to make the All-Rookie First Team, the Sixers went 18-64 (remember, this was before Iverson got there).
But on this night, he wasn’t frustrated about being a NBA laughingstock. He was only sick of Hornacek, who was using all of the veteran tricks. Pushing. Holding. Poking. Hornacek said Stackhouse hit him with a cheap elbow earlier in the night. Stack countered that Hornacek elbowed him across the face on a hard foul. After that, it was on.
The penalties? Stackhouse was suspended for two games (that would cost him over $64,000) and fined $7,500. Hornacek only received a fine of $1,000… and of course, a couple of right hand haymakers to the temple.Subscribe to UPROXX
2. KIRK SNYDER VS. JERRY STACKHOUSE
No video survived this attack because it didn’t happen on the court. Throughout the game, which occurred in Dallas in April of 2005, Stackhouse had been complaining to the refs that Snyder was throwing cheap and illegal elbows (doesn’t everything in basketball seem to stem from this?). They exchanged unpleasantries immediately following the game with Mark Cuban comparing the confrontation to a couple of “Miller Lite” girls. Oh really? Stack decided to take it to the next level… in the hallway in front of the Jazz’s team bus.
Reports are varied on exactly what happened, but they all agree on two things: Stackhouse clocked Snyder onto the ground, and had his face bleeding by the end of the 40-second throwdown. Some say the Mavs guard was waiting for Snyder in front of the bus… others recall he was just there talking to his wife. Just know Snyder got more than one fist to the face.
Check out what Alvin Gentry said to Jack McCallum in the book, 7 Seconds Or Less:
“[after a game against Utah] Stackhouse tells [Kirk Snyder], “I’m going to kick your ass,” but the kid doesn’t think anything about it. Game’s over, Stackhouse, who dresses all GQ, goes to the equipment manager and asks for a warm-up suit, puts that on, goes out into the tunnel, sees Snyder, kicks his ass with a couple of punches, goes back into the locker room, returns the warm-up and puts on a nice blue suit. All in a day’s work.”
1. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL VS. JERRY STACKHOUSE
This wasn’t exactly a fight, but you know what? That’s exactly why this finds its way to the top of the list. Name me another guard who took out the Diesel like that? O’Neal’s been fouled hard by people like Chris Dudley, Charles Barkley and Brad Miller, and gone down swinging. Hell, you remember when he tried to decapitate Miller? But in Game 4 of the 2006 NBA Finals, also known as the series where WWE officially became the acronym for “National Basketball Association,” Stackhouse decided to send a message, and he did, knocking the biggest player in the game on his ass on a breakaway dunk.
In response, O’Neal played it off like he didn’t realize what happened, and check out his teammates. They steered clear of Stackhouse like he had contracted the bubonic plague. They wanted no part of the NBA’s Fight Night king.
O’Neal tried to say later that his little daughters tackle him harder, but the damage was done. He got bodied Polamalu-style by a 6-6 two guard. In return, Stackhouse was suspended for Game 5, and Dallas was one step closer to melting down faster than the 2011 Red Sox.
Who was the toughest player ever to play in the NBA?
Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.