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STRAIGHT FROM STACK: Basketball's back

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A native of Kinston, N.C., and a former All-American at UNC, is no stranger to basketball in the state of North Carolina. The guard remains active in the community and donates a great deal of his time during the off-season to a variety of projects in the area. For more information, visit his official website at jerrystackhouse.com

MY TEAM USA TAKE
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Another item in the news that's grabbed my attention is all the talk about the next Team USA.

I think 's recent statements about "not begging" the USA Basketball committee to pick him for the team simply meant that he really wants them to select him. In fact, I just saw that the committee has put him on their wish list along with Shaq and KG.

I would love to play on the team, too, and hopefully I'll get that opportunity to represent my country, especially after what happened in the World Championships. I haven't been contacted by anyone and I don't know if I ever will, but if it happens it happens and if it doesn't, then it doesn't. But if I am selected, I promise that I'll do my best to try to bring us back the gold.

I think that with the team the committee is building now, there's no way we're going to lose again. And as long as we continue to send our best, we should always win. Everyone tries to question what happened last summer, but I think we should just move on, accept it and try harder next time.
I really think it's great that there's going to be pro and it never should have left in the first place, in my opinion. Let's face it — everyone knows about the history of hoops in the state. The decision to make Bob Johnson the first black majority owner in pro sports was a great move and his knowledge of entertainment as the founder of BET (Black Entertainment Television) . I would love to someday get the opportunity to have a position in upper management, myself. An ownership position would be great because it would give me the opportunity to be around the game after I'm done. Every player wants that chance and I think this is a huge step for African-Americans. For so long we've just been participants and players and now we seem to finally have the opportunity for ownership. This is just another sign of how far we've come to and proves that there's nothing we can't do. The one disappointment out of the situation, though, is that . In my opinion, the perfect situation would have been to combine both groups' efforts. Then you'd get the entertainment and business savvy of Bob Johnson with the basketball knowledge of Larry Bird. That definitely would have been the best of both worlds. Maybe somewhere down the line it will happen, though, who knows? A guy like Bob Johnson may have a vast knowledge of the entertainment industry but that doesn't necessarily translate over to basketball. They still have a couple of years to try to get all of those pieces in place, but I definitely think the franchise will be successful. People really love basketball in Charlotte. The only reason they stopped supporting the was because they were upset with the decisions that management had made. If they get a good team there, the people will get behind them pretty much the same way they did before.

Everyone saw how quickly they went from being an expansion team to contenders in just a few years. I don't see anything preventing that from happening again, especially if Johnson comes in with the mindset of a guy like Mark Cuban and does all he can do for the team to make it a first-class organization.

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