Report: Utah Jazz Plan to Contact John Stockton About Head Coaching Vacancy

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Report: Utah Jazz Plan to Contact John Stockton About Head Coaching Vacancy
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Utah Jazz fans, as the incomparable Ray Arnold would say, "Hold on to your butts." It's going to be tough for you to contain your excitement as you read this report from ESPN's Marc Stein:

The Utah Jazz, as part of a broad coaching search expected to feature some 20 candidates, plan to sound out Jazz legend John Stockton to see whether he has any interest in the position, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Stockton is perhaps the most iconic player in the franchise's history—only Karl Malone could challenge him for that crown—and the thought of seeing him lead the team again will stir up some serious nostalgia.

Stein went on to say:

Sources told ESPN.com that Jazz officials intend to at least pose the question to the Hall of Fame guard about his willingness to move into coaching, while mindful of Stockton's lack of previous coaching experience and the fact that he has long loathed the sort of spotlight associated with the job.

Experience doesn't seem to be the prerequisite it once was, as broadcaster and former executive and player Steve Kerr has been one of the hottest names on the market this hiring season. But you could make the argument that Stockton has a little.

Last September, Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal documented Stockton's efforts in working with Trey Burke and Alec Burks on their point guard skills. That's obviously a far cry from a head coaching gig in the NBA, but work with me here.

What he would bring to the position is instant credibility, as the league's all-time leader in both assists and steals. He's also first in NBA history in assist percentage, third in games played, fourth in offensive rating and 10th in true shooting percentage. Just go look at the "Appearances on Leaderboards, Awards, and Honors" section of his Basketball-Reference page. It's unreal.

Let's not count chickens before they hatch on this, though. According to The Deseret News' Jody Genessy, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey wouldn't comment on the ESPN report, but said, "We’re just in the middle of our diligence," and added, "I’m optimistic, and I think there's a good talent pool of coaches available."

If that diligence leads to hiring Stockton, Jazz fans will rejoice. He may not have the traditional head coaching experience, but there's no doubt he understands the game, and his cerebral approach seems perfectly tailored for the bench.

 

Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDBailey.

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