Dick Harmon: Sloan and Stockton: Two of a rare kind

Published: Tuesday, April 7 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

The contrast between old school and Generation X are easy. Take Stockton vs. Allen Iverson. Columnist Brad Rock beautifully bracketed that after a March 29, 2000, faceoff between the two stars.

Wrote Rock, "Stockton goes about his business with studied precision — a bounce-pass here, a jump shot there, a steal in between.

All under control, a concert of measurements and calculations. Iverson is a blur of crossover dribbles, stutter steps and quick jumpers.

"Stockton takes what is given, Iverson takes what he wants. Stockton is older, wiser, more cautious; Iverson burns with the impetuousness of youth.

Stockton is all timings and adjustments; Iverson is instinct and speed. Stockton is the embodiment of team play; Iverson is the person Charles Barkley once labeled "Me-Myself-and-Iverson.'"

Old school demeanor.

Stockton's last game was a playoff affair at Sacramento and Sloan took out Karl Malone and Stockton with five minutes left.

They'd been a sensation, the epitome of the pick-and-roll for 19 seasons but would exit together as fans applauded in reverence.

Later, on the phone with his father, Stockton told his dad the gesture at that juncture took him by surprise.

Jack asked why his son didn't wave or something. "It's all right to do that, you know."

Stockton replied, "We're down 17 points, I'm not going to wave at anybody."

You'd expect nothing less from the best little man to ever play the game.

Sloan? Dirt farmer turned hockey-masked Jason on the court; minister of structure on the sidelines.

Old school? To the letter. Now, with Monday's official announcement, the matched box set will be enshrined.

One thing is certain, we'll never see this brand again.

e-mail: dharmon@desnews.com

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