Utah Jazz: Hall of Famer John Stockton dishes out quips, candid remarks in Q-and-A
Stockton: I didn’t go into games thinking, "I need to take 15 shots or 10 shots or four shots." I didn’t go in thinking I needed 10 assists or five or 15. I just played. I figured the coaches would tell me if they wanted something different. We had Karl Malone, arguably the best scorer in the history of the game. I know he’s not No. 1 on the list, but I’m hard-pressed to find one who was just so dominant for so long. It would be foolish to sit there and take too many outside shots when you can get the ball into him close. The foul pressure it puts on teams, the high percentage he shot, the ability to shoot free throws and all those things with him. Having Jeff Hornacek. My decisions on the court were based on the types of guys around at the time and what was the necessary play, I think.
Q: What was the most enjoyable part of writing the book and what do you hope people will take away?
Stockton: The most enjoyable part was the walk down memory lane, whether it be my childhood or high school and college, professional days. That was fun. And to recollect stories. I even found myself chuckling in the chair sometimes thinking about things.
What I hope people get out of it is so many people impact (others') lives. Normal everyday people that go to work every day, that hand a kid a basketball or hand him a football or hand him, whatever, a book. It changes their lives, and they go on without any credit for it. So many people impacted my life positively and (it's) an unlikely story. That’s really what I wanted to pass on is, 'Thank you.' Not only to people that have contributed to my life, but the ones who have contributed to others, the unsung heroes.
Q: Did you take it upon yourself to take over the final minutes of the Game 6 win in the Western Conference Finals that sent you to the NBA Finals for the first time in 1997?
Stockton: I don’t remember much of that. I think even in the book I mentioned that. I remember Greg Ostertag being impactful in the latter minutes of that. I didn’t go back and watch film for the book. In fact, I made a point not to go back and research. I wanted to go by memory, so I guess it's a freer story or something. I didn't want to be limited by (details like), "That was two points, not three points."
I do remember the last shot. I still get goosebumps thinking about that. A lot of what happened before it was a blur. That’s probably how the game was. I know we were down a lot. I know we came back, similarly to the way we lost to Phoenix two years before that and lost to Houston ... years before that. What a wild day that was. That was so much fun. But that’s mostly what I remember, mostly the last shot also.
Q: How much interaction do you have with Jerry Sloan and Malone?
Stockton: I wouldn’t say daily or even weekly. It’s more in the monthly or a couple of monthlies. You just never know. None of us have our numbers on speed dial. I don’t even know if my phone has a speed dial. But we manage to stay in touch, and it’s good.
Q: How did the Jazz convince you to go on Twitter for their 'Twitter Takeover' on Friday afternoon?
Stockton: I’m not going on Twitter. I don’t know anything about Twitter. It scares me. I have no intention of being part of anything Twitter. What they do, I don’t know. (A P.R. person informed him that he was going to have a conversation while somebody else typed his responses into Twitter.) There you go.
Q: I was curious if your kids were going to help you with social media.
Stockton: I’m going to show you something. (He reaches into his pocket and grabs a flip phone.) This is my brand-new phone, because I dropped the other one in some water that I had for 10 years. I don’t even know how to use these functions. No, I don’t have any intention of going the way of the Twitter.
Thanks for coming.
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