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John Stockton at his Hall of Fame induction in 2009.
In terms of purity as a point guard there wasn’t a greater one than John Stockton.
On offense, Stockton mastered the use of body. He set harder screens than Kevin Garnett, stroked the ball uncouthly and is the greatest passer that ever existed.
Only three players in the history of basketball had any success when assigned the task of guarding John Stockton—Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Magic Johnson.
But in an era highly regarded for its physicality and defensive-mindedness, the 6’1” Stockton dished out more dimes than any other player in NBA history with 15, 806.
FACT: If you only factored an assist as worth two points—even though Stockton assisted to an unknown amount of three-pointers—he is directly responsible for more total points than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who scored 38,387 and assisted to at least an additional 11,320 points.
Stockton assisted or scored on 51,323 points in his career—again, that’s without ever counting the additional here-and-there extra point for the long-ball.
He was the NBA assist leader for nine consecutive seasons, a stretch that lasted from 1987 through 1996.
But on top of his offensive accolades—too many to list—Stockton was a supreme defender despite being undersized. He is the all-time steals leader with 3,265 and was named to the All-Defensive Team five times.
All of John Stockton’s 19 seasons resulted in a playoff berth, including back-to-back efforts in the NBA Finals.
In those 19 years, Stockton played an amazing 17 full seasons without ever missing a game.
And as for what he’s meant to Utah: how about the statue sitting outside of the Jazz’ old arena? How about the street named after him in downtown Salt Lake City?
It is without question that John Stockton is the greatest guard in the history of the Utah Jazz, and perhaps the greatest point guard in NBA history.