Utah Jazz: Golden State coach Mark Jackson causes stir with comments about John Stockton

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  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    Little Andy: I wish some of these young victims of today's media carnival could have seen those greats. And wilt was the greatest:
    - Four MVPs
    - 13 All Star appearance in 14 seasons (missed 1970 when he only played 12 games all year)
    - League leader in rebounds 11 times and career leader (finished second two other times)
    - League leader in points 7 times
    - League leader in assists in 1967-1968 (has any other center every led the league in assists?)
    - League leader in FG% 9 times
    - In 1961-62, he averaged 50.4 ppg (astonishing!!)

    I loved Frazier as well. Being a Rockets fan in the San Diego Sports Arena, I didn't get to see the eastern teams as often but I remember Frazier well. Tremendously skilled but what impressed me was the command he exuded over both teams. All nine players seemed to move at his command like chess pieces. You don't capture that in the stats.

    I remember very well that I hated one eastern player. It was particularly bad when I was listening on the radio. "Sloan rebounds." "Sloan scores." "Sloan drives." "Sloan fouls." "Sloan passes." I heard his name at least twice as much as anybody else's. I hated him.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    Would agree with joe5.
    There were many rule changes because of "Wilt the stilt." I don't think anyone will score 100 points in a game at that level.. For those of us who saw the players that joe mentioned it was a real treat I also liked Frazier of the Knicks..

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 8, 2014 12:03 a.m.

    Stockton was a very good shooter and in crunch time he was locked in, but he wasn't an all time great shooter. Yes, his FG% was fantastic but he took higher percentage shots and his overall volume of shots was less than needed for a big time shooter and scorer.

    Hornacek and Stockton made a great back court. Hornacek was the better shooter despite Stockton possessing the better percentage.

    Nevertheless, Stockton was one of the best all around players I have ever seen. He could shoot, handle the rock, set up and run the offense, dish out assists in high volume, play gritty, D up people, play passing lanes, make steals, dive all over the floor, never back down from a challenge, and be as durable for 20 years as anyone who ever played the game.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    This is just a coach trying to instill confidence in his young shooting tandem. He knows they aren't the best of all time. He's just trying to pump them up.

    Plus, Jackson has an ax to grind against Utah. He was a cancer to the team when he was here and was not beloved at all.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 7, 2014 3:43 p.m.

    "Stockton was not the first player with his skill set. I only saw Cousy late in his career but John's game was very similar."

    Cooz was an innovator in the flashy passing game, but he was an undebatably lousy shooter. He's more Ricky Rubio than John Stockton. If Rubio could become even a half-decent shooter, he would own the league. Fuse Jimmer and Rubio and you'd have something.

  • ed Los Olivos, CA
    Jan. 7, 2014 3:17 p.m.

    He was a very good shooter. Look at his college stats and watch some u-tube. Asside from those things:
    1. He played 82 games 16 times. No guard has ever come close to that record.
    2. Doug Collins says he was one of the best screen-setters in the history of the league.
    3. He was probably playing hurt most of the time. Again, watch u-tube. This guy was a terrific athlete.

  • Idaho_Boy Aberdeen, ID
    Jan. 7, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    Stockton is still my all time favorite player. Enjoyed reading his book. Could Stockton shoot, of course he could. He believed more in his teammates shots than his own. I lived in the Midwest during most of his career so didn't get to see him play as much as I wanted. I used to get frustrated looking at box scores when they lost and seeing that Stockton was 4 out of 5 and his teammates were shooting 10 for 30 or whatever. He didn't shoot enough many times to know that he had the hot hand.

    Got to see him in a preseason game in Nashville towards the end of his career. He didn't miss a shot in warmups. Now could he hit an off balanced shot with a guy in his face, I don't know. He didn't take those kind of shots. I watched him school a young point guard at the time for the Suns. I think it was Jason Kidd if I remember correctly to start off a game. Kidd couldn't stop him and Stockton scored 6 or 8 quick points on layups and then didn't take another shot until who knows when. That was Stockton.

  • Coolio SLC, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    Non-Story. Jackson made a spur of the moment comment and said that John Stockton was a good shooter? Where is the controversy? He's going by his own memory without stats in front of him. He's also propping his own current back-court. Silly headline.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    Jeff Hornecek was a great, consistent shooter at 2 guard. He played smart and in his prime, he would best Jackson's players at that which mattered most: winning the game. Horny won the shooting contests on All-Star weekend...how many have these other guys won?

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    Stockton played in a different era, and he himself lamented rules changes that hurt the team aspect of the game. John loved to compete, and in his prime, could clearly outplay today's pampered and coddled "stars."

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    He hit the shot that counted and advanced the jazz to the finals. There will never be another Stockton or Malone.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    An outsider visiting needs to know two things. Don't down grade a Utahn's church or John Stockton. Either is likely to have you tossed to Wendover.

  • JimAg7 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    Was John Stockton a great shooter? Who knows, really. He didn't shoot enough. The percentages quoted in the article would make him among the best, but how many times did John pass up shots that he should have taken? I love the guy, but I believe this was his biggest weakness. Would his percentage have remained as high if he had shot more? We'll never know. His passing ability is without peer and that certainly put a certain amount of pressure ON the defense. His reluctance to shoot, even when he had the shot took some of that pressure back off the defense. Great player. Great character. Can't argue Jackson's point either way.

  • Gerald Rampton Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    Is Mark Jackson related to Jesse Jackson...!?

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    Jan. 7, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    Stockton was a master point guard. Case closed.

  • sanpaco Sandy, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    Seriously? I was expecting some kind of comment about Stockton being overrated and not deserving respect or something. All he's saying is that other players had better shooting stats than Stockton which is pretty obvious. This is a non-story.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 10:59 a.m.


    - The most dominant shot I ever saw was Kareem's sky hook. Absolutely unstoppable!!

    - Many of today's players would have excelled in whatever era they played and we are lucky to be watching them. Topping that list are LBJ and Kobe. I can see either of them in my mind's eye playing with the greats from the 60's and the 80's (in my mind, the two greatest NBA eras).

    - Dwight is not in that group. I don't think he would have survived five years in those center-dominated eras.

    - The 3-pt shot also changed the game dramatically. I still argue with myself whether it was for the better or worse. There is no question it is better for fans. Overall, I think it was better for players and for the game but it has spawned a lot of low-IQ team play.

    - Stockton was not the first player with his skill set. I only saw Cousy late in his career but John's game was very similar. I think John was better in most facets of the game but I saw John in his prime. Someone older than me will have to make that call.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    I've been watching the NBA since the 1960s. I saw Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, etc in person. Here is my perspective:

    - I've never seen an individual player who dominated the court like Wilt Chamberlain. If you changed the supporting casts he and Russell had, Chamberlain would have had all those championships. (Don't get me wrong. I loved Russell and he was a great player. But he was no Chamberlain.)

    - The prettiest shot I ever saw belonged to Sam Jones, master of the mid-range bank shot.

    - Connie Hawkins was the first highlight reel I ever saw. Dr J, Nique, Jordan, Vince, etal were just later versions of the original.

    - David Stern sold out the NBA when he decided stars should dominate instead of teams. This reflected in marketing, officiating, rules, and virtually every other aspect of the game.

    - MJ was a great player who appeared greater than he really was due to phantom fouls, uncalled traveling (his scissor-kick first step was legendary), and a fawning media. I personally believe his scoring average would have been 4 pts less per game if he had been officiated like they did in the 1960's.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    "...The person who said Stockton was the only player he would pay to watch was none other than John Wooden...".


    For the better part of 19 years...I never watched a Jazz game wondering if Stock would have some mental or physical hang nail that would keep him from playing...and playing hard.

    Denigrating a real players skills by isolating on one part of the entire skill set is laughable.

    mark jackson's opinion and $5.00 should be enough to buy a gallon of gas even in most NBA cities.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    And in this corner. I really don't care. Utah was blessed to have Stockton. And you know what he came every day every game and did his thing. No crying or whining.

  • gehelmke Bastrop, TX
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    Lots of good points made here....I'd like to make a few.....
    1) Jackson's claim wasn't that Thompson and Curry were the best "players" ever. His claim was that they were the best "shooters" ever.
    2) The argument put forth to dispute that statement is Stockton's "field goal percentage"...
    3) All Star centers over the years have repeatedly had very high field goal percentages, because most of their baskets are put backs in the form of dunks or tip-ins.
    4) When they figure field goal percentages, they lump dunks in with 21 foot jump shots.

    These points made, to call a dunk a "shot" is a stretch...To call a lay-up a shot is also a stretch....therefore, to use field goal percentages to determine who is the best shooter is not a fair comparison....If you have some way to go in and find out a percentage of shots other than lay-ups, dunks, or tip-ins, I'd buy that....but if you want to use the NBA FG% stat to judge a shooter, then Wilt Chamberlain was the best shooter in the history of the NBA.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    "As for Stockton, he would not last a single game in today's NBA."

    This is flat-out hilarious. Read the message boards at any sports site whenever current players are compared to players from the past and a lot of people seem to feel like today's players wouldn't stand a chance back in the day. I've seen howlers like "Lebron would be merely average in the 80's NBA," "Jordn would average 50 with today's rules," and insinuations (repeated here by some of you) that today's stars would curl up in a ball and cry if the physicality of today's game hadn't been curtailed by rule changes. Yet, D2P goes the other direction.

    Both extreme sides of this silly debate are wrong, wrong, wrong. Yes, the game evolves, but the top players of those eras would thrive today, and vice-versa. Basketball is still fundamentally the same, shrieks of objection from the old-skool purists and cluless comments from casual fans aside.

    As for Jackson, he's right, but so what? Stock was super-efficient, but he could never hit the kind of shots Curry nails every game. Different styles; both very effective.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Reminds me of when Isiah Thomas said Larry Bird would just be an average player if he was another race. John Stockton guarded the best point guards very well when he was in his prime. His shooting percent matches well with the other 3 players in question. He hit big shots and was a big time player. Overall, he is the best point guard that ever played as evidenced by his total body of work which include NBA records in assists and steals. These other players will never come close to either record. He is also one of the toughest ever to play the game. John was a master at making those around him better. John might not have been the best shooting point guard in the NBA history but he is right up there near the top, and when you add the other qualities such as assists, steals and toughness, he is the point guard I would choose to start for my team above all the others mentioned. He also lacked an incredible over-abundance of arrogance, which is more than can be said of most of the others mentioned in this article, including Mr. Jackson.

  • mdp Bountiful, utah
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    Moot point... but Jackson left off Pistol Pete and Alan Iverson, even Magic- all better scorers. Scoring is the 2 guard forte', not the point.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    oldschool: The person who said Stockton was the only player he would pay to watch was none other than John Wooden. A supreme compliment indeed.

    It's true that Marc Jackson was jealous; he didn't like backing up Stockton. Oh well. Coach Sloan once said something to the effect that Stockton could readily score 30 a game if that's what they asked him to do, but they didn't. But we did see that once in a while, on the very rare occasions when Malone and Hornacek were so well defended that a third needed to step up. The definition of "great shooter" is debatable, but when Stockton was asked to score, he was as unstoppable as any of the best offensive point guards in the league. By the way, one of my favorite things to see in a Jazz game was Stockton, the passer extraordinaire, leading yet another frenetic fast break and, instead of penetrating the lane and dishing, stopping on a dime outside the three-point line and draining it. And, let's see--who was it that was called upon to take that shot to beat Houston and send the Jazz to the finals?

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    I have no problem with the comments of Mark Jackson who played well for St. John's. Stockton had the intangibles that the Warrior guards do not have. Basically, they have the right to shoot from half court when they have Bogut and Lee underneath who are playing lights out with their rebounding skills. The Jazz worked like a clock with John Stockton. The Mailman could not have delivered without the logistics of Stockton. The issue is kind of a moot point. These are two different offenses. Unless, the Warriors can figure a way to get Bogut and Lee into the offense instead of on the periphery, they will be just "shooting stars" who will be blown out early in the playoffs. As soon as Curry crosses midcourt, he is already cranking up a shot. This is silly when Bogut is playing at the highest level of his career after finally recovering from injuries suffered when he was undercut by Amare Stoudamire.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    Everyone knows Jackson is cancer to a team. His back court is good but they have many years to prove themselves.That is the proof in the pudding. And as for our troller the guys you mentioned couldn't tie their shoes compared to Stockton...

  • JParkerfan St. George, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    Stockton is an all-time great who would have better numbers in today's NBA than he did when he played. The game and the players were so much better. Today, you don't even have 1 center who would compete in the 80-90's. Whoever said his shot was "ugly" doesn't know anything about shooting.
    Curry isn't even in the same league as Stockton and will probably have a relatively short career because of his small frame. Also, he can't guard his own shadow.
    Thompson is an awesome shooter with the best jump shot I've ever seen. Perfect form, and I would pay money to watch that guy shoot.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    This is a silly argument. It's like saying who was a better wrestler Bruno Samartino or Hulk Hogan. When the outcome is scripted all stats become mute.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    Mark Jackson is spot on, nothing wrong with his take. As far as Stockton goes, he would do just fine in today's NBA. His drive and work ethic over came in short comings in athletic ability that he may have had. Just finished reading his autobiography, Assisted. A great read; quite a player and a person.

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 6:50 a.m.

    @Denver to Portland, I never considered Stockton a shooter. Shooters tend to be on and off all the time. Stock was pretty solid night in and night out. To say he wouldn't survive in the NBA is out there. The guy leads the league in two statistical categories. I don't think there is anyone else that does. He also played against your Magic, your proclaimed best PG. Sure he wasn't flashy but his no nonsense approach to the game was a force to be reckoned with during the age of the Dream Team, which he was on. Maybe you should rethink your statement.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    Well, there are three modern NBA fans. They fall for flash instead of substance. Even though the stats prove them wrong, they insist they are right.

    I've seen several games with the Warriors backcourt firing away against the Jazz and I welcomed it because they were missing and shooting their team out of the game. Sure, they got their points because they are volume shooters but they weren't very efficient in those games. Also, since they were shooting from long range, the Jazz were getting great transition opportunities.

    Unfortunately, the modern uneducated NBA fan doesn't grasp the subtleties of the game. All they want is glitz and glamour. Like monkeys and other animals, they become enamored with shiny objects and lose all sense of perspective. David Stern made this travesty of a sport when he decided team ball is not an important as marketable stars. He actually oversaw rule changes to eliminate team aspects of the game in favor of individuals.

    In the 1960s, a team like Boston would always beat an individual like Chamberlain. Now everyone realizes that a team has little chance against someone with an LBJ, Kobe, or Durrant.

  • md Cache, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    Stockton was better. Look at the stats.

    There is no way to prove he wouldn't last in today's NBA. Perhaps most of todays players wouldn't have lasted with the more physical nature of the game in the 80's and 90's? Can you imagine anyone really taking a shot at Durrant or Evans or Rondo? They would break like glass.

    Anyway, there is no reason to argue about opinions.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Jan. 7, 2014 6:12 a.m.

    This is the problem of the 24 hour news cycle. Somebody is asked for their opinion. They respond candidly. Somebody takes offense. Outrage ensues. Apologies are offered. I remember when sports reporting was about sports, not news about people talking about sports.

    Just report on the game, not who said what about what happened 15 years ago.

    The same problem is with the news in general. Rather than reporting about what is going on, it is about who said what to offend somebody. It is like a huge middle school with people saying things about other people, people's feelings getting hurt, and a swirl of he said she said. Please stop reporting on what amounts to gossip.

  • oldschool Farmington, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:43 a.m.

    Stockton was a better defender than any of today's top point guards and would compete with any of them. At 40 he guarded Iverson so well that AI was frustrated and had to go to the bench to cool off. Stockton at one time had the best shooting percentage of any point guard in history with 500 or more games except for Magic Johnson. Nash has since beaten him out. Amazingly Stock shot over 50% even though he usually shot only under pressure when the shot clock was about to run out. Many of his trey attempts were last-second desperation heaves. When open, he was one of the deadliest shooters ever. He also could create his own shot and was better in the paint than 99% of point guards, probably second only to Parker. Stockton also became a better shooter and during his prime shot unbelievably well from the outside. He wasn't flashy and was pasty white and humble, so people who are not observant basketball aficionados will fail to recognize or remember his greatness. What a shame. Probably the greatest point guard under 6'9" of all time. Guess who said Stockton was the only player he would pay to watch.

  • RonBergundy SANDY, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 1:09 a.m.

    @Denver to Portland.

    Your right. And people didn't think that Stockton could keep up with Isaiah Thomas, Gary Payton, Kevin Johnson, Terry Porter, Maurice Cheeks, Magic Johnson. Yet for some reason, he had more thousands more assists than any of them and is all-time leader in assists.

    I guess the Olympic coaches thought he was bad too since only one other guy on that list was on the dream team...

    If he played today, he too would have been slightly faster and quicker because of the advances in technology and training. One thing that doesn't change is VISION and PRECISION PASSING. I've yet to see someone quarterback his team like that. He knew he didn't need to score to influence the game.

  • David King Layton, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 12:53 a.m.

    @Denver to Portland "As for Stockton, he would not last a single game..."

    I know you are just trying to rile people up, but if we look at this more closely, it just shows what made John Stockton so great. You say that Stockton "would not last a single game" and then compare him with some of today's players. Interestingly enough, the man you said "would not last" missed less games due to injury in 19 seasons than any of the players you mentioned (and who haven't been in the league nearly as long). It wouldn't be hard for Stockton to match up against guys like Rose, Curry, or Paul when he's on the floor for all 82 games and they're on the bench the majority of the season. Go ahead and search YouTube for videos of what John Stockton was still able to do to younger players when he was forty. If that doesn't convince you, remember that Gary Payton (widely considered the best defender of all time) said it was more difficult for him to guard John Stockton than Michael Jordan.

    The only real question is if players today could keep up with Stockton.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 12:49 a.m.

    Come back in 15 years and tell us Curry is still putting up those percentages.

    Jackson always was jealous of Stockton's talent.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:52 p.m.

    @ FT, if you can name one point guard who had over 19,000 points in their career and shot over 54% from the field, please come back with that information and continue to maintain that John Stockton was not a great shooter.

    It is all a matter of definition, but the numbers don't lie. Could Stockton shoot better than Reggie Miller or Steph Curry in a game of HORSE...probably not, but great shooting is a matter of both technical ability and the intelligence to take high percentage shots (something most point guards in the league today have little concept of).

    A 19-year career with only a handful of games missed due to injury and a 54% field goal percentage is statistically unmatched in the history of NBA point guards.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:44 p.m.

    @ Denver to Portland, I couldn't disagree with you more. Apparently you forgot about Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Allen Iverson, Isaiah Thomas, and a few other quality Hall of Fame point guards during Stockton's era. Stock was never a great defender and never claimed to be, but as the all-time steals leader, he was crafty and made up for his deficiencies on D with extraordinary efficiency as an offensive player.

    Ask any GM in the league if their team wouldn't benefit from the steady, low turnover, and pass-first leadership of a John Stockton (who could hit the open shot when called on), and you would get a very high percentage who would take Stock in a heartbeat. He was intelligent, an iron man of physical toughness and endurance, and his teams made the playoffs every one of his 19 years in the league.

    Rondo is the only one of those you mentioned who has won a championship. Rose's injuries will diminish his career greatly. Nobody who truly knows the history of the game would say Lillard and Paul were better than Payton, Iverson, KJ, or Isaiah, let alone Stockton.

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:16 p.m.

    I think if you asked anybody who has not seen these numbers, including any Jazz fan, whether STockton was a great shooter, they would all say the same thing Jackson did. They would all say Hornaceck was better as well. Part of it may be that Stockton just had an ugly shot. Part of it is his free throw percentage is average and his 3 pt avg is not stellar. The numbers are interesting though.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:49 p.m.

    The DN news trying to create news instead of report it. Coach Jackson is right, Stockton was not a great shooter and definetly not in the same class as Curry.

  • Denver to Portland Portland, OR
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:34 p.m.

    Jackson is right. Curry and Klay are on their way to being the best backcourt.

    As for Stockton, he would not last a single game in today's NBA. So it's a good thing he played when he did. Honestly can you see Stockton guarding and keeping up with guys like Westbrook, Lillard, Rose, Curry, Paul, and Rondo game after game? Didn't think so.

    Stockton isn't even the best PG of all time, that obviously goes to Magic.

  • Tuffy Parker Salem, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:20 p.m.

    I am as big of a John Stockton fan as there is but Jackson is right to some extent. Stockton's FG percentage is among the best but there were many times a great shooter would have taken a shot that John passed up. Credit to Stockton for always taking the high percentage shot but I still remember often thinking as I watched him play, "Shoot it. Come on, just shoot it." That said, Stockton's game was never really about shooting and perhaps his overall play is why he remains one of the all-time best point guards ever in the NBA.