John Stockton has all the accolades. He’s the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and it’s not even close. He finished with 15,806, while Jason Kidd sits in second place with 12,091. Stockton is also far and away the league’s all-time leader in steals with 3,265, while Kidd is again second with 2,684. The former Utah Jazz point guard also finished with nearly 20,000 career points (19,711). Stockton did it all on the court. The 6-foot-1 point guard was known for his strong play in a league full of big men but wasn’t widely known for being tough – until you ask Chris Webber.
John Stockton was one of the best all-time
Although John Stockton put up the big numbers, he wasn’t one of the flashy point guards. There was nothing fancy about Stockton, who just got the job done. Ask several players who went up against him and they’ll tell you, despite the lack of pizazz, Stockton was the best.
“I don’t think he gets the due that he deserves,” Jason Kidd said on the Dan Patrick Show. “Sometimes he’s left out of the mix of great point guards, great, great point guards. Patrick asked Kidd if he had an all-time starting five, would Stockton be the starting point guard. “Yes, If I’m the coach, I could easily watch the game.”
NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley also chimed in on Stockton. “I’ve always said I think John Stockton is the perfect point guard,” Barkley said. “Watching his career in the NBA, there has never been a guard, a pure point guard, who made better basketball decisions with the ball – ever.”
Stockton never looked the part
John Stockton was all business on and off the court. He worked hard at his game and he was just a regular guy off the court. There were no fancy outfits, no fancy cars. Stockton played 19 years in the NBA – all with the Utah Jazz – and he played them all the same way. There was no trash-talking, just pure basketball.
Chris Webber, a 6-foot-9 power forward drafted first overall in 1993, said while other NBA players would show up to games in fancy cars and fancy suits, Stockton would come drive up to a game as if he was the guy next door. Webber remembered a time when he was a young player with the Sacramento Kings and told this Stockton story.
“We would play him in the playoffs, I’d make rookies wait on the bus and say, watch the baddest man in the world pull-up,” Webber said on the Dan Patrick Show. “They like, ‘what do you mean?’ They think I’m going to talk about his cars and all this and John Stockton would come to the game, literally in a minivan, pop the kids out and come in there and bust us up.”
Chris Webber said Stockton was one tough guy
Chris Webber, at 6-foot-9, was one of the tougher guys during his NBA career. Webber, who was a five-time NBA All-Star and the 1993-94 Rookie of the Year, remembers one time when he was with the Sacramento Kings when he planned to flatten Stockton with a hard screen and it backfired.
“We were playing against Utah against the great Karl Malone and John Stockton and I sensed that our team was in awe of them,” Webber said on the Dan Patrick Show. “We were younger so I told coach Adelman before the game that one the first play of the game I’m gonna lay Stockton’s ass out.
“I laid him out, one of the best screens I ever had. I got my shoulder kinda in that head area, maybe a little dirty. He pops up, pats me on the butt and said nice screen. Do you know how demoralizing that is? Yeah, I mean he was one of the toughest guys.”