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It is not easy to draw the portrait of the point guard par excellence, but if it were really possible John Stockton embodies this role perfectly. To tell the truth, when he entered the world of basketball NBA it’s not that his athletic figure was too convincing: A white, skinny boy of only 185 centimeters, who came out without too many recommendations from the University of Gonzagano one would have bet a single penny that it would last more than a season in professional basketball, even if he had already broken the points record in a high school season, instead the basketball player of Spokanerainy town in the state of Washingtonof seasons it lasted 19, breaking all the records of assist-man and forming with Karl Malone a super effect tandem, before retiring at 41 years of age.
Stockton, assist-man par excellence
John Stockton he was a star totally available to the team, his idol was a certain Magic Johnsonbut his essence was certainly not the assists no-look, but the effectiveness in the art of passing. At the basis of his game was the concept of group, his master strokes found effectiveness, they were distinguished by the effect and precision, a special connection with the receiver that made something simple become a fantastic thing, unique in its kind. . In his career he will become the specialist of the assist par excellence, after 1508 games played his average pass to the basket was 10.5 shots per game.
Stockton did the right thing, not the most theatrical but the most effective, his unique ability was to always take the best choice, no assists no-look, passing behind the back or dribbling between the legs, he was the most concrete. An ability that will lead him for nine consecutive seasons to be the best passer in the league (1988-1996) and to lead the special ranking of man assists without comparison. NBAunique in double figures together with his idol Magic Johnsonsomething that makes him a perfect point guard, feared by all, perhaps the best, certainly one of the best all-timewithout considering the numbers that are all on his side.
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Stockton in defense
185 centimeters high for not even 80 kilograms, numbers that deceive the appearance, in fact John Stockton it wasn’t just the best assist-man of the league, he was also a great defender. His physique was slender but at the same time he never skipped a match, at the end of his career he only counts 22 skipped games. Stockton he had an intensity and an uncommon agonistic nastiness, cunning and cynicism that made him one of the defensively dirtiest players in the wholeNBA. In a special ranking of Sports illustrated solo Dennis Rodman it precedes it in this special ranking. It was enough to hold the ball a second too long that the champion was there, a furious lion ready to steal the ball from anyone. An average of 2.17 balls stolen per game, another spotless record for the point guard of Utah Jazz.
Stockton, a lifetime for Utah Jazz
Stockton was called in the draft with the number 16, it was the year 1984, the year of Charles BarkleyMichael Jordan Hakeem Olajuwon. He came out of a university not first-rate and the fans welcomed him coldly. Despite this, after a couple of seasons John Stockton he had taken Rickey’s place Green and he was destined to become the silent leader of the team. Team that will become the only home of the champion who will live in Utah throughout his playing career, forming with Karl Malone one of the best known pairs in the history of basketball NBA: “Stockton to Malone“Was the phrase that meant the two champions understood each other wonderfully, a phrase often used on situations of pick’n roll. It was also thanks to the steps of his partner that Malone closed his career as the second all-time scorer, 36928 points, behind only a certain Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The Utah Jazz they made the most of their pair of aces, but nevertheless never won the ring NBAthis because Stockton e Malone they found themselves in front of one of the champions, the strongest champion in the history of professional basketball: A certain Michael Jordan capable of carrying his own Chicago Bulls to a double 4-2 in the series of 1997 and 1998, taking away from the champion the possibility of writing his name in theOlympus NBAa flaw for the elf of Spokane. However, this does not detract from one of the greatest champions in the history of basketball, only bad luck, or luck, depends on the point of view, of having challenged the greatest champions ever in his career.
Who is John Stockton
John Stockton he is a boy with a shy and reserved character, tied to the game of basketball without his merits having been recognized at least as due. He was never even considered as possible MVP in the years in which he averaged more than 17 points, while breaking all records in terms of assists and steals. Despite this, nothing ever changed in his personality and his playing style, from the very short shorts that were fashionable towards the end of the 80s, a model of shorts that was then even renamed “StocktonsIn fashion jargon, just as they started wearing loose-fitting shorts, he would stay the same. But that’s not the only curiosity about the champion NBA.
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After the retirement, which officially arrived on 02 May 2003, Stockton it would take its place in the memory of Salt Lake City. His shirt number 12 was officially withdrawn, plus a street was named after the champion and a bronze statue was dedicated to the myth, right next to another dedicated to Karl Malone. John’s passage today Stockton it is legend that only those who have seen basketball NBA of the 80s live can remember, a legend not too far from a way of playing that we will hardly be able to relive, unique in its genre, not too spectacular, never predictable, and endowed with effectiveness. Stockton was a unique example of longevity and basketball intelligence and deserves its place among the all-time legends ofNBA.