Veteran presence Jerry Stackhouse still can help on the court, too

Jerry Stackhouse sits on the bench during practice

Jerry Stackhouse sits on the bench during practice at the PNY Center. (Oct. 3, 2012) (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

Minutes removed from a turn-back-the-clock performance, Jerry Stackhouse was standing at his locker, minding his own business, when Deron Williams played the role of Mars Blackmon in that old shoe commercial

"Stack," Williams shouted, "it's not the shoes! It's the socks!"

Whatever it was, Stackhouse may want to bottle it, patent it and market it as a fountain of youth formula.

The 38-year-old veteran swingman's 11 points, which matched his highest point total from a season ago with the Atlanta Hawks, gave the Nets a huge boost off the bench Friday night, something that was needed with MarShon Brooks sidelined after spraining his left ankle earlier in the day.

Stackhouse shot 4-for-9, going 3-for-6 from three-point range, in 10 minutes in the Nets' 107-68 victory over the Magic.

"That was big, man," Joe Johnson said. "I thought that was the momentum-changer for us. He came in and gave us some great minutes, knocked down a lot of shots, basically opened up the floor for everybody."

Stackhouse was brought here to be an influential presence in the locker room and provide some leadership on a team with nine new faces trying to find an identity. The 17-year pro's experience and role can't be underestimated.

He has seen a variety of things while playing for eight teams, and he's all about dropping some on-court knowledge.

"It just slows down for me," Stackhouse said. "It seems like the game is slow motion. When you are at this stage, you understand the game and how it's supposed to work, and it's easy and it makes it look fun. I think it's good for our young guys to see."

If he has his way, they'll be witnessing it for another year or two. He's not anywhere close to being ready to call it a career.

"If I get it on the break, I'm going to dunk it," Stackhouse said. "I'm not going to dunk it like I did in '95, but I'm still dunking. That's kind of my barometer. When I come down the court and I don't feel like I can still jump and dunk the ball anymore, yeah, it's time for Stackhouse to retire."

In the meantime, he's going to enjoy his role as the Nets' savvy veteran and unofficial assistant to Avery Johnson.

"It's whatever he wants from me," Stackhouse said. "I told him that from Day One. If it is to be on the bench and keep our guys together, to be in this locker room or just getting out on the floor and competing. I would not be here if I didn't feel like I could still compete. I'd rather see one of the young guys just come here and sit and get the experience of being here. It's not about that for me. I just think this team has a realistic chance, if things fall into place and come together, of doing something special.

"And I think I bring something to the table to help that."

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