John Stockton. Simple and effective. No behind the back or between the legs passes. The all time assist record holder (15,806) and the all time steals record holder (3,265).
Stockton was the ultimate passer, master of the pick and roll, with his no-nonsense approach to the game and magician-like hands he was one of the most constant players in the NBA. He played 19 seasons in the NBA, all with the Utah Jazz.
Many times he was offered much more money to play for another team, but he stayed loyal to Utah. Even though he doesn’t have a ring, according to many, he’s the greatest point guard to ever play the game.
John Wooden, the legendary UCLA coach said that John Stockton is the best player in the NBA and the only one he’d pay money for, to watch him play.
The dynamic pick and roll duo with Karl Malone was one of the most productive in the history of sports. John Stockton was so unselfish to Karl Malone. So many times you’d hear the commentators say “Stockton to Malone.” That sentence was repeated over and over again.
They perfected the pick and roll and were truly flawless machine. People said that it’s as if there were talking in a language only they could understand. One of the many interesting things about John is that he’d use his 6’1 frame as a pick for much bigger and stronger opponents.
And he was never afraid of the bigger guys. A lot of times he was getting into rough physical contacts. He knew that his opponents thought that if they knocked him out, he was gonna play less effectively. But that wasn’t the case with him.
Never did he complain about an injury or anything. When asked if he can play, he’d respond the usual, abrupt. “Yeah”. With his amazing radar that he had, John was scanning the court all the time. Always looking for that little “hole”. Always ready to dish out that assist.
Before he got in the NBA he played for not so known Gonzaga University, where he was one of the best players. In 1984 he was the 16th pick of the NBA draft.
The same year when Jordan was drafted. After 19 years he retired in 2003. The same year Jordan retired for good. Stockton is a proud member of the original Dream Team in 1992 and in 1996 Olympic games. In 1993 he shared the All-Star MVP with, none other than Karl Malone.
He entered the league smiling and left it crying. No other player ever played 19 seasons with one NBA team. And in those 19 seasons he only missed 22 games. The proud holder of the torch that was given from Bob Cousy. Cousy was the small player playing for Boston.
He played in the 50s and the 60s. In the meantime there was no other player quite like him until Stockton appeared on the scene. Bear in mind, other NBA legends came that year.
John’s best advice for players who wanna make it big is working really hard and never giving up.