After several embarrassing public incidents with overly aggressive autograph seekers, including a woman who screamed at him in a hotel lobby for refusing to give her more than one autograph, he decided he would no longer give autographs except through an endorsement deal he had with a card company. That was that. He drew a line in the sand and rarely, if ever, made exceptions, even if the request came from Miller himself.
For a time Stockton was rather lax during the playing of the national anthem before games, as so many NBA players are, barely paying attention, shaking the kinks out of their necks, chomping on gum and so forth. When Stockton's kids noticed this and asked him why he didn't put his hand over his heart, he thought about it and made another decision. He realized kids were watching him — including his kids — so from then on he placed his hand over his heart during the national anthem.
Stockton was so guarded, if not a little uptight, that, in a way, fans never really knew him. The only time anyone can remember seeing him cut loose was when he sank the shot that beat Houston in the Western Conference Finals to send the Jazz to their first NBA Finals.
He was always the calm, steadying presence on and off the court. During a 1994 playoff game, Miller was steamed about the team's poor effort in the first half, at one point shouting at Sloan to bench Karl Malone. At halftime, Miller entered the locker room with steam coming out of his ears, only to be intercepted by Stockton, who told him, "If you're too mad to be here — don't."
Miller turned around and headed for the training room and cooled down. Miller later recalled, "After Stockton gave me his words of wisdom, I thought, 'I'm OK. I've got a grip.' "
Because of all of the above, Stockton won everyone's respect, even, or especially, the owner's.
"People ask me all the time what kind of person John Stockton is," Miller said last year. "I tell them he's exactly the kind of person you hope he is."
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