Monday, 24 August 2015
JOHN STOCKTON Feature-STOCK TAKE
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Shorts shorter than what Homer Simpson or The Royal Teens rocked and rolled around in? No tattoos, not even a drop of ink? Looking more like the dad in a household name family sitcom? Question nothing, because John Stockton is a legend in this game like Michael Jordan or Allen Iverson. A golden era, 90's legend, who picked and rolled deliveries with Mailman, Karl Malone, all the way from the squeaky sneakers of the court to the corridors of the Hall Of Fame. Together the one-two punch hit as the Salt of Lake City for the Utah Jazz. As a matter of fact, forget top 50, this guys one of the top 25 players of his decades generation and maybe even higher than that in the greatest Point Guard of all-time ranks that has seen him battle everyone from Steve Nash to Magic Johnson. Think his old school, back to basketball quarterback basics style has no influence on the next youth of the game today? Then why don't you check the roster of the Sacramento Kings. Look for the name David Stockton. His son. As a matter of fact lets check the box-score for some Stock talk to see just how good basketballs dearest John was. Lets play it by the numbers, because they don't lie...and John Stockton was the truth.
After the Utah Jazz piece number 12 (now in immortal symphony with the retired rafters) was selected with the 16th pick in the 1984 NBA draft over 30 years ago, the 6, 1, 175 pound P.G. paced the 84/85 season with nice averages of 5.6 points, 5.1 assists and a steal point three. His breakthrough year came a couple of 82's later where he seasoned himself to a star in the making of 14.7 points, 3.0 steals and a whopping 13.8 assists. The kind of line his career would play out to with the season to season averages of 13.1 points, two and two steals and 10.5 assists. Only diminishing his returns by being a valuable veteran for so long, shouldering the baggage of a post Mailman in Utah. That like father time took a toll on Stocks body and his body of work. That still today leaves him trailing only Boston Celtic great Robert Parish and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to be a player to play the most seasons and consecutive games with one franchise. And they said you couldn't measure loyalty.
After '87 for the next seven seasons, Stockton sealed some stellar stats in the assist column. Reading 13.6, 14.5, 14.2, 13.7, 12.9, 12.6 and 12.3 during his prime in the golden era of the National Basketball Association with a game, whopping career high 28 against the San Antonio Spurs of all teams to whip into passing lane shape. Forget seven seasons though these are just the tip of the iced numbers of being a 9 time assist leader over the seasons. Stockton did more than just push the rock well, leading the NBA history books in all-time passes, breaking Magic's record and leading the next man by at least 3,000 dimes. Just like he did on the opposite end, by holding court as the all-time steals leader, to go along with two led seasons for that category in his inventory.
Still his signature year in the box score was between 1989 and 1990 where John hung averages of 17.2 points, 3.0 steals and 14.5 assists on the rest of the league and the record books. A potent scorer, defender and guy that sets it all up, you couldn't want for a better playmaker and X and O guy in this beautiful game when it was his time and prime.
No wonder this guy tallied 1504 games in his career with 1300 of those starts on an average of 31 minutes a game. To go along with the stepped up playoffs where he played 182 postseason games and started in 165 to the tune of 35.2 minutes a game. Those extra five minutes and change of burn led to some big numbers in the 19.5, 14.8 and 3.4 line of the 1987/88 playoffs, cresting at a career average of 13.4 points, 10.1 assists and 1.9 steals. Racking up the career end totals of 19,711 points, 15, 806 assists and 3, 265 steals. Lost count yet?
Add that all up and that's what makes you a top ten All-Star player, 50th anniversary player and one, true champion even without the ring. And if you think I'm dreaming, he has two Olympic Gold Medals for his team to wake you up different. So go around in circles with that!
That's a wrap for our Stock tips. For those still trying to put up screens on this greatest guard, look at the numbers. It's time to pick one and roll.