Utah Jazz: Hall of Famer John Stockton dishes out quips, candid remarks in Q-and-A
It was a long, arduous process. I have a great respect for people that write. I don’t know how they do it every day ... or do novels that they have to use their minds instead of just their memories. It’s tough duty.
Q: Was there a part of your life that was especially interesting to go back and relive?
Stockton: I think what I found is there was areas I just didn’t want to go back to. I think there's a little bit of talking about the championship series (in the book). Those are a blast. We came out, obviously, on the losing end of that. I didn't have much to add to that, and that surprised me a little. I thought that would be more of a story. But for me, that was over, move forward, and that’s probably how I approached it at the time.
Q: Now that you're back and in a press tour, do you miss this? Are you looking to get back in the NBA at any point? Coaching?
Stockton: I’m pretty much looking to crawl back into my cave after this weekend's over. (Laughs). This isn’t bad. There's a lot worse things that can happen to a guy. And my experiences with you guys in the past have never been bad. I just felt the need to guard that privacy, guard it for my family, for myself, and I still feel that way. It’s a little bit easier now. My kids are growing up. They’re adults most of them, or at least half of them. It’s just different. But, no, I’m not looking to get back into the lights.
Q: What advice did you give Trey Burke and Alec Burks when they visited you in Spokane this summer?
Stockton: I didn’t give them a lot of advice. I had a good time with both of them. They’re good, nice young men and they were both open ears, ready to learn and ready to hear whatever. Mostly what I did when they were there was babbled. We talked about certain plays and what they might see and what I would’ve done if I saw this. And then just babbled. And hopefully if there’s some wisdom in my experiences, hopefully they pick it up and it helps them. But really it’s not like coaching normally where you have a whole year to work on, and you can work on this move or that play and solidify it in your memory for the rest of your life. It’s more conceptual. I enjoyed my time with them. It was a lot of fun for me. It was my treat really. A treat for me.
Q: Did you consult with the Jazz before they drafted Trey Burke? What do you see in him?
Stockton: I wasn't consulted on Trey before the draft or anything like that. They’ve asked since and that was part of it. That was all part of that working-out process.
Q: What do you like about Trey's game?
Stockton: I’m anxious to see him in a game. The environment I saw him in was a couple of guys up in an empty gym, with me doing a lot of talking. I don't know if you can get a great feel for where a person should be. I think Trey, in particular, has a great opportunity to learn where he’s not forced into the action. Being hurt might actually be a positive for him because it gives him a chance to sit there. I know my first years sitting on the bench, largely behind Rickey Green, was a great learning tool for me. (I) would recommend that for young guards, especially if teams can manage to do it, is to sit some of these highly valued guys coming out, give them a chance to see how the team works without being stuck in the fray.
Q: When Jeff Hornacek took the Phoenix Suns job, did you have advice for him?
Stockton: I knew he wanted to coach. You could see it when we were playing together he was going to be a coach. I knew that time was coming. I knew that there was timing issues with his family and when he’d be comfortable enough to do that (he would). I was happy for him. That’s a tough job. For me at that time would I want to jump into it? I don’t think so, but I was happy for him because I think he was. His timing was ready.
Q: In your life, you never played for a struggling team like the (1-8) Jazz are now. How do you think you have would've responded? What would you recommend they do to persevere through it?
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