The bad economic climate has hurt a lot of players this offseason. Many marquee free agents have had to settle for low contracts and some others have been directly left outside in the cold with training camps already under way. The most storied of them all, with Stephon Marbury's permission, would be two-time All-Star Jerry Stackhouse, who spent most of his last season in Dallas riding the bench and now finds himself without a team in October.
Needless to say, Stackhouse is none too happy about it.
"I didn't expect it to go like this, but with this game you never know," Stackhouse said. "I had a foot injury last season, couldn't play in many games and now I'm in this situation. This past summer I have been working hard, working out in Atlanta, playing in some summer leagues and getting myself healthy and ready for the season. I'm disappointed because I think I can help a lot of teams."
While Stackhouse worked out with the Hawks late in the summer – to rave reviews from beat writer Sekou Smith – Atlanta was never a very serious option for him. There was some contact with Houston, according to Stackhouse, but the Tar Heel is mostly looking to join a contender, which obviously the Rockets are not at this point.
"That's my final goal. I'm trying to catch on with a team that's close to winning a championship. I think after all my years in Dallas I have proved that I can accept a role and still help a team."
The 6-foot-6 Stackhouse got close to winning the title in 2006 when the Mavericks blew a 2-0 advantage in the Finals against the Dwyane Wade-led Miami Heat. But he could have had another shot at it had the Hamilton-Stackhouse trade not materialized. To this day, Stack remembers the move with some grief.
"That was kind of a low point for me. I felt like we were building something good in Detroit and I couldn't finish the work off. I was disappointed, but at the same time I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Maybe if I don't get traded to Washington then I wouldn't have had the chance to play with the Mavericks and spend those great years there.
"I still feel like I'm a Piston and also a Maverick because of the great times there. From a winning standpoint, the years in Dallas were the best in my career, but from a personal playing standpoint Detroit was my golden age. I kind of have a chip on my shoulder with that because I think I could have also helped them get over the hump"
Even though not ready to retire, Stackhouse says he's contemplating some other options for when his playing days are over – mostly broadcasting and coaching.
"I definitely want to be around the game. Being able to be work with young guys and help them develop, I would have a blast doing that."
Another potential career choice could be singing. With Walter McCarty no longer around, the deep-voiced Stackouse is widely regarded as the best singer in the NBA. He doesn't rule out the possibility of recording an album.
"Singing? That's another career opportunity for me right there!" Stackhouse said tongue in cheek. "It's something I like to do in my off time. And you know, I've sung the national anthem on games a couple of times and people would tell me, 'You should do an album, you should do an album' ... And I may do it. But right now I have a other options first. I want to keep playing. I have something left in the tank."