John Stockton was known as a point guard who would deliver his teammates the ball where they wanted it and when they wanted it. He was a team player, and who we know today as the NBA’s All-Time assist and steals leader. Let’s take a look at the man who changed the point guard position in his era, to what we know it as today.
People knew John Stockton coming out of Gonzaga University was going to make an immediate impact for whatever NBA team he would be drafted to. Coming into the league in 1984, Stockton would team up with one of the all-time great big men in Karl Malone. Stockton and Malone, although never crowed NBA champions, were a force in the Western Conference. It was just unfortunate they had to stop Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls the two times they made the NBA Finals. Never being an NBA champion didn’t hurt Stockton’s legacy. He was the best facilitating point guard ever; period. A man that leads the NBA all-time in assists (15,806) and steals (3,265) people knew that if you were to pressure Stockton he was going to deliever to his teammates time and time again. Take a look for yourself:
Stockton was a 10-time NBA All-Star during his era. He was a player that created opportunities for his teammates to become better players. He was a player that helped Karl Malone become second all-time in points scored. If Malone couldn’t get the ball, he wasn’t going to score, so thank Stockton for all of those points Jazz fans.
Stockton “The TRUE Point Guard”
Stockton was known for being a durable player as he missed ONLY 22 games throughout his 19 season NBA career. A remarkable stat that players today could only think about trying to emulate. I would love to see more point guards in today’s game mirror Stockton’s game. Today too many point guards have a score first mentality. I think for a team to have a truly successful back-court, the point guard needs to be a pass first guard. Now, we see teams having success with score first guards, but to me, a true point guard is someone who; finds his teammates to score first, plays hard on the ball defense, and thinks of scoring last. This was what Stockton did throughout his NBA career and it was deemed a success.
Stockton played up until 2003 and had an impact every year until then. Durability is what the NBA lacks today and Stockton was the forefront in that category for NBA players.