Utah Jazz: Hall of Famer John Stockton dishes out quips, candid remarks in Q-and-A
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — If you needed any proof that times have changed, consider the fact that John Stockton invited media members to ask him questions at a press conference Friday morning.
The Hall of Famer also eagerly signed autographs for a horde of Utah Jazz fans.
The 6-foot-1 point guard then did a dunking exhibition.
Truth be told, Stockton only did two of those three events as part of a weekend stop in Utah during his book tour for his recently released autobiography, "Assisted."
The Jazz legend, who has his own statue, a street named after him, and his No. 12 jersey in the former Delta Center rafters, spent 25 minutes sharing candid responses and quips with Utah media before doing the first of two autograph sessions.
"Kind of an added benefit," he joked about the press conference.
During the Q-and-A, Stockton touched on his career, relationships with Jazz personnel and Utah; thoughts about Trey Burke and the current Jazz team; his family, privacy and priorities; the possibility of returning to the NBA; his fear of Twitter; and, of course, his book, which he personally wrote by hand with the editorial guidance of former basketball coach/mentor Kerry Pickett.
Stockton also spent a moment in the Jazz shootaround before scurrying away for a full day, which included interviews and that book-signing session (another is scheduled for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fanzz store at EnergySolutions Arena).
Stockton even got a chance to briefly visit with his old coach, Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan.
"He looks a lot younger," Sloan joked.
Here is the transcript from Stockton's Q-and-A:
Q: Does it surprise you that you’re doing this (press conference)?
Stockton: It doesn’t surprise me that I did the book. It surprised me that we published it and then therefore I have to do this. It goes with the territory we have, like when we were playing. We played basketball with the thought that I’d be speaking in front of you like this. Same thing with the book. It’s kind of an added benefit.
Q: How did it evolve from you maintaining a private life to deciding years later to open up and share it?
Stockton: It’s not a tell-all, if you’ve read it. I think I’ve preserved most of my private life, and I think that's still important for me and that’s still important for my family. But I did open up some. It started out I wanted to pass on messages to my children and have a chance to put it down in writing and think about it a little instead of just blabbing on the way to a game one day or something. It started out with my old Coach (Kerry) Pickett, my sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade basketball coach who's rather a learned guy. We started the project. As the project progressed, I think the need to publish probably came more from him than me, to be perfectly honest, but here we are.
Q: How much of the writing did you do?
Stockton: I did it all. Well, what does all mean? I wrote every word of it to start. The process, if you're not bored by me talking, is when I met with (Pickett), we talked about doing it, we spent a couple of hours just kind of talking about it.
Next time I talked to him (a week or so later), he had a little outline. He said, "Why don't you go write on this, this area of your life?" Whether it was my time at Gonzaga, whatever. I would just go off at home while my kids were away to school and start writing, literally on college-ruled paper, with pen, and then I would type it up, present it to him. He would add or subtract his comments — "I don’t get this or I get that" — and then I’d rewrite it. And then he'd write more suggestions and then I'd rewrite it.
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