Dick Harmon: Sloan and Stockton: Two of a rare kind

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  • Rich
    May 29, 2009 9:26 a.m.

    Stockton was as close to getting the most out of the frame God gave him as any other player who ever lived, and nobody ever played as efficiently. He could do with one hand what some players need two hands even to attempt, such as to bounce the ball at an angle around a defender. He could throw the baseball pass better than anybody who ever lived. Off the dribble was a piece of cake. And was Stockton one of the finest defenders we've ever seen? No doubt. One of his finest defensive games was against Iverson when Stockton was about 38 years old. Every single time Iverson cut, Stockton had anticipated the move and blocked AI's progress. The little tattooed man got so upset that he couldn't see straight. I had never seen anybody stop Iverson before, and this was at AI's physical peak, when he was still a step faster than anybody else in the league. Wilt Chamberlain once said he would select Stockton over any other player to start a team. Can you imagine what Stockton could have done with West, Chamberlin, Baylor on his team? Or Bird, McHale and Parrish?

  • Anonymous
    April 9, 2009 12:32 a.m.

    Best point guard ever. Best coach in the NBA. Best pair to enter the Hall of Fame. That says it all.

  • Ing
    April 8, 2009 10:35 p.m.

    Never has been a better point guard than Stockton. Ever.

    Say what you want about Magic or Oscar Robertson (and they are definitely two of the game's best players ever, don't get me wrong), or about anybody else, but the simple fact is that Stockton was better at doing what a point guard has to, and better at it for longer, than anybody else.


    How about a career assists record that will never be broken. Even if it does get broken someday, none of us will be alive to see it.

    So here's to Stockton and Sloan. Their combination of talent, endless competitiveness, success, and sheer human decency are inspiring. Two people the likes of which basketball might never see again.

  • bill schurman
    April 7, 2009 7:47 p.m.

    A toast to both. True winners and sportsmen !

  • David
    April 7, 2009 5:27 p.m.


  • Stockton Is/Was the Best!
    April 7, 2009 3:38 p.m.

    Stockton's lifetime assist record will never be broken.

    More importantly, Stock's decency, respect for others, and knowledge of the game are second-to-none.

    I loved Magic Johnson's game and, I suppose, one could argue that Magic was a better basketball player than Stockton. But, has there ever been, or will there ever be, a better true point-gaurd than John Stockton.

  • GHL
    April 7, 2009 3:01 p.m.

    Stockton always seemed to see the game being played in slow motion while everyone else was forced to play in real time. The competitive fire burned very deep and hot and constant with Stock. He was up to it in every second of every game. He probably produced more with the talent he had than any player in NBA history.

  • KB
    April 7, 2009 1:10 p.m.

    What higher praise is there than what John Wooden said of Stockton? He's not just a library of how to play basketball, but how to play sports in general. I miss him and will one day miss Coach Sloan!

  • WOW
    April 7, 2009 12:09 p.m.

    What a fantastic article!!! We are truely fortunate to have been able to witness such greatness!!

  • Troy
    April 7, 2009 11:57 a.m.

    I will bet Sloans farm that Stockton could still get 10 points, 8 assists in 20 minutes and not break a sweat!

  • Carl in San Diego
    April 7, 2009 11:36 a.m.

    Excellent article, Harmon. A few of those quotes were great. I sincerelly enjoyed this one!

  • charisol
    April 7, 2009 9:12 a.m.

    I almost cried when I read it. Thanks to Jerry and Stockton.

  • Steve from Jersey
    April 7, 2009 2:17 a.m.

    "We're down 17 points, I'm not going to wave at anybody."

    Gosh, I miss him.

  • Brad
    April 7, 2009 1:27 a.m.

    Yep there will never be another player like John Stockton. The game I remember best is against the Bulls and Stockton went down the lane without the ball and Dennis Rodman knew what he was going to do and purposefully put his leg out and tripped Stockton. Stockton luckly did not get hurt but was fumming mad at Rodman (Rightfully so). But at the end of the game Stockton was apologizing for his conduct and for yelling at Rodman. Takes a special person to do that.