Throwback Thursday Player - John Stockton
John Houston Stockton, born March 26, 1962 spent his entire professional playing career as a point guard for the Utah Jazz from 1984 to 2003. Stockton is regarded as one of the best point guards of all time, holding the NBA records for most career assists and steals by considerable margins. He is a ten-time NBA All-Star, and a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (in 2009 for his individual career, and in 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("Dream Team"). He was also inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame as a member of the "Dream Team" in 2009.
He was one of 74 college seniors invited to the spring tryouts for the 1984 U.S. Olympic team, coached by Bob Knight. Stockton made the initial cut in April to the final twenty, but was one of four released in May (with Charles Barkley, Terry Porter, and Maurice Martin) in the penultimate cut to 16 players. Though not selected, the experience led him to meet his future teammate and friend, Karl Malone.
Stockton averaged a career double-double, with 13.1 points and 10.5 assists per game. He holds the NBA's record for most career assists (15,806) by a margin of more than 3,000, as well as the record for most career steals (3,265). He had five of the top six assists seasons in NBA history (the other belonging to Isiah Thomas). He holds the NBA record for the most seasons, games, and consecutive games played with one team, and is third in total games played, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robert Parish. He missed only 23 games during his career, 18 of them in one season. He played in 38 games where he tallied 20 or more assists.
His number 12 jersey was retired by the Jazz during a game on November 22, 2004. A statue of Stockton can be seen in front of the Energy Solutions Arena; an accompanying statue of Karl Malone was placed nearby on March 23, 2006. The Malone and Stockton statues stand on a bronze plaque commemorating their achievements together. Stockton was announced as a member of the 2009 class of inductees to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on April 6, 2009; he was formally inducted on September 11. Stockton chose 2000 inductee and fellow point guard Isiah Thomas to present him at the induction ceremony.
Along with his teammate Karl Malone, Stockton is considered one of the best players who never won an NBA championship.