I’ve been playing basketball my whole life so I’m just going to try and do what I do. —David Stockton
SALT LAKE CITY — David Stockton was chilling Friday when he received a random call from his agent, Andrew Morrison.
The son of Hall of Fame Utah Jazz guard John Stockton knew something was up, because the two hardly communicate on a day-to-day basis.
“The Jazz want to bring you in on a 10-day contract,” Morrison informed him.
At that moment, excitement immediately filled the 26-year-old’s body as he had to place another call.
“I called Dad, and the family was really excited,” David recalled. “We’re just really happy.”
David then flew to Salt Lake City to sign the deal, a place where he spent most of his childhood, and where his famous father racked up the league’s most steals and assists all-time throughout his illustrious 19-year career.
John’s No. 12 jersey hangs in the rafters, his 8-foot statue is planted outside Vivint Arena, and even 300 West is named John Stockton Drive.
So, how in the world could a backup 5-foot-11,165-pound floor general live up to that pressure, fresh off a four-year G League stint with the Reno Bighorns?
“I try not to think about it,” David said. “The statue has been there, and it’s kind of been the same old story my whole life as far as basketball and playing and having this name, so I try not to think about it, and I don’t think there’s too much pressure.
“I’ve been playing basketball my whole life so I’m just going to try and do what I do.”
As great as the news is, the last thing David wants to be is a sideshow living off his family legacy for a Jazz team in the midst of a serious playoff run. John could be making an appearance for Tuesday's game against Atlanta.
That isn’t the case; according to Jazz coach Quin Snyder.
“He’s got an aptitude for the game, and we’re happy to have him,” Snyder said. “We know him as a player; that’s why we called him up.”
David has already been around the team for offseason organized team activities, where he became familiar with a bunch of guys on the roster. He also knew Joe Ingles from his international experience for the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s National Basketball League in 2016-17.
Jae Crowder even received orders via text message from David’s college buddy, Kelly Olynyk — also Crowder’s former Boston Celtics teammate — to take care of his guy. Crowder’s father, Corey, also played with John during the 1991-92 season.
“It’s pretty cool to have another guy just like yourself who has been in the organization before, his dad has been in the organization of course, so to see him work his butt off to get to where he’s at and get a chance is what it’s all about,” Crowder said. “I knew of him obviously but I never had an encounter with him.”
David averaged 18.0 points, 7.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 142 career games for the Bighorns and experienced a brief stint with the Sacramento Kings in 2015.
Suiting up in a No. 5 Jazz uniform in the same arena, formerly known as the Delta Center, where he once shot jumpers with his siblings before and after games as a child, is a monumental achievement.
“It’s home,” David said. “I lived here most of my life and flying in here and just being a part of the program that’s meant so much to me throughout the years is really a dream come true.”
PAY THE PRICE: The NBA has fined Phoenix Suns forwards Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley $25,000 each for their on-court altercation with Jazz guard Ricky Rubio on March 15 at Vivint Arena. The Jazz won, 116-88, but, at 6:55 in the third quarter, Dudley committed a Flagrant 2 push against Rubio to initiate the melee, then Chriss blindsided the point man with a shove as tempers flared. Both were ejected from the game. NBA commissioner Adam Silver also visited Vivint Arena to receive a tour of the renovations Saturday.
JAZZ TAKE A STAND: During the national anthem of the Jazz-Kings game, 30 kids currently living with rare and undiagnosed diseases stood with members of both teams and their siblings in Vivint Arena. Jazz players Ricky Rubio and Alec Burks supported their attendance through the Jazz player ticket donation program.
ANOTHER ONE: Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell received his third consecutive Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month trophy for games played in February on Saturday morning ahead of the Sacramento Kings game.