One of my favorite things about SLAM is when the website digs into the magazine articles and re-publishes stories from the past. They recently did so with a profile by Michael Bradley of then-Piston Jerry Stackhouse’s breakout 1999-00 season:
Whatever the reason, we saw a new Jerry Stackhouse in ’99-00. Not only did he assume the role of team spokesman, a job Hill was no doubt pleased to cede, (particularly with all the rumors flying around about his future), but Stack also started putting up the kind of rip-roarin’ numbers that were expected from him when he came into the League. He averaged 23.6 ppg, up nearly 10 from his shaky ’99 performance. His rebounding figure (3.8 rpg) was a career high, and he actually passed the ball, something that hadn’t ever been a big part of his repertoire, despite his protests to the contrary. In short, Stackhouse became a full-fledged NBA scoring machine, lethal in the open court, strong in the mid-range and excellent from the foul line. Oh, there is still that minor problem with three-point shooting (28.8 percent?? Blecchh!!!), but we’re not going to talk about that, Jerry. We will, however, mention your 14 games of 30 or more points, including a career-high 40 spot against Denver. And we won’t forget about the 11 points you scored in the All-Star game. Or the 11 assists you handed out against Golden State back in December.
Most Pistons fans remember Stackhouse’s 2000-01 season, after Grant Hill left as a free agent, when Stack’s 29.8 points per game average and pursuit of the scoring title was the most interesting news to come out of a rebuilding season, but his 99-00 season playing next to Hill was really good too. He shot the ball better and wasn’t forced into taking as many bad shots as he had to the following season, since the Pistons had no other reliable scoring option.