Tuesday , Sep , 08 , 2009 J.N.

John Stockton. Nice Guy with Mean Game.

John Stockton. Nice Guy with Mean Game.Straight out of the college of Gonzaga, mistakenly known as Godzilla, is Mister John Stockton. He was rocking the short shorts in college and he didn’t change a damn thing after he was done with the League of Extraordinary Ballplayers. Stock looks ordinary, but his skills were superb. He’s hailed as one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game, and rightfully so, he’s only the all time assists (15,806) and steals leader (3,265). His career average consists of 13.1 points and 10.5 assists per game. J-Stock was a beast.

His game was not flashy at all as he was only concerned with getting the job done. No flashy passes although Stock can pass the ball with pinpoint accuracy. He can’t dunk, but can sure elbow you in the gut whenever the referees are not looking. John does not stand out at all on the court, but when that ball is moving, you better believe he’ll be involved in some manner. Bad pass? It’s stolen. Moving on a fast break? That’s an easy two. Pick and roll? Karl Malone is scoring a bucket. Don’t play him too close? That’s an easy jump shot. Play him too close? The Mailman will be right behind you setting a pick making Stockton blow right past you. Cut him off? He’ll pass it to someone else for a wide open scoring opportunity.

The timing was bad for Stock to be playing during The Jordan Era. That’s fine. He still carved out a great legacy – one that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. If I had it my way, John would go in with Karl Malone. “Stockton to Malone” is the quintessential phrase for the pick and roll. Every team, every coach, and every person should rename the pick and roll to “Stockton to Malone.” No bueno? Oh okay.

Player 12 for the Utah Jazz rarely showed any emotion choosing to be reserved much like Tim Duncan. He had a great poker face and should be commended for succeeding at such a high level for a long time with the least of athletic ability. The man put in serious work quietly and efficiently, which speaks loud volume for anyone who kept tabs on the statistics and results at the end of games. Stockton logged 5 consecutive 1100+ assists seasons and 10 straight seasons where he averaged 10+ assists per game. That alone is unreal! I’m sitting here shaking my head in awe watching this man play as during my childhood.

The thing I’ll admire the most about him is not the statistics. It’s how he got things done quickly without having to be flashy. Jason Williams, Mark Jackson, and Steve Nash will “hot dog” every few times or so, but John did not have to resort to that. He did not wear any suits or flashy gear even though I know he had plenty of money. He is a jeans and polo shirt type of guy.

Simple. Efficient. Calm. Productive.

What a player.

John Stockton and Karl Malone gave it their best shots against the Greatest of All Time to win a title. That’s all that we can ask. Now player 12 gets his place in the Hall of Fame. He played. He worked hard. He didn’t ask for much. He sacrificed. He earned every accolade.

Simple. Efficient. Calm. Productive.

Where does he rank among the all time great point guards?