SALT LAKE CITY — Wednesday was John Stockton’s birthday, which gave Utah Jazz fans a chance to reminisce about the career of the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and steals.
If you forgot to celebrate Stockton’s 52nd B-day, you have 364 days to find him the perfect pair of short shorts by March 26, 2015.
As for the Jazz’s current starting point guard, Trey Burke said he still thinks about advice he received from the Hall of Famer when he took a trip to work out with Stockton in Spokane, Wash., last summer.
“He told me a lot,” Burke said at Wednesday’s shootaround ahead of the Jazz’s late game against Memphis. “The main thing is just staying the course.”
Stockton even admitted to Burke that things didn’t exactly go as peachy as the Gonzaga grad hoped for his first year in Utah in 1984-85.
“(Stockton) told me his rookie year he didn’t have the type of year that he wanted,” Burke said. “He wasn’t playing as much as he maybe thought he could have. I always think about that.”
For the record, Stockton only averaged 18.1 minutes in 82 games, putting up 5.6 points and 5.1 assists, as a rookie while backing up All-Star point guard Rickey Green.
Burke, obviously in a completely different scenario, brought averages of 12.8 points, 5.3 assists and 31.5 minutes since missing the first dozen contests of 2013-14 with a broken finger into Wednesday's contest.
Burke added that Stockton told him, “You’re going to face some adversity. You’ve got to learn how to get through it and you’ve just got to learn from your mistakes.”
FOUL SHOTS: During a recent eight-game stretch, Derrick Favors sank 26 of 30 free throws, including a 6-for-6 night against Atlanta.
Monday was a different story, and he was reminded of his rough outing from the charity stripe Wednesday morning. When Favors stepped up to the podium for his shootaround interview, he looked down to see a box score from the Jazz’s 114-94 loss to Detroit.
Included in that box score was a black-and-white reminder that he missed 6 of 8 free throws in his four-point night. That came after he’d shot 1-4 in his two previous games.
“Yeah, I want to throw that away. Man, get it out of here,” Favors said while looking down at the stats. “I shot 2 for 8 from the free-throw line. That’s embarrassing.”
Favors said he tries to put up extra shots after struggling like that, but it’s also important to just move on and try to not fret about the past.
“The main thing,” he said, “is to go out there and shoot a lot of free throws and just put it in the back of your mind (and say), ‘I just had an off-night’ and just forget about it.”
MISSING IN ACTION: Guard Alec Burks missed his third straight game with a left ankle sprain. The foot was initially sprained when he stepped on a teammate’s foot at the end of practice Friday, and it was re-injured Tuesday as he tested it again.
"He's better," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He tried a little bit yesterday, tweaked it again. I think he's getting closer to getting back."
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