[Ed. Note: Had to remove a cool retro pic of John Stockton directing things]
Dime Magazine is a publication that is written by a lot of different guys with different backgrounds and different opinions. You can like their work on the whole while disagreeing with one writer from time to time. It's kind of like this blog in that regard (shut up. just shut up Amar). Sean Sweeney ( @SEANesweeney ) wrote a piece on John Stockton back on November 11th, 2011 which was quite an interesting read. It was really one side of a point/counter point argument regarding John vs. Isiah Thomas. I thought I would bring it up today, John Stockton's birthday, to talk about it.
Sean seems to be unaware, or didn't care, that in the 1996 NBA Playoffs John Stockton played through to the Western Conference Finals with an injury that required off-season attention. Gary Payton was a great player at his peak, but when Stockton went up against Payton in that series most other guys would have already been on the injury reserve roster. That said, Sean presents the idea that Stockton's numbers all dipped in the playoffs, and that he was a perpetual underachiever.
At his best, he was a great player, but never transcendent. His prime never really existed because he lacked another level to push himself to. There’s a reason why his numbers almost always went down during the playoffs. When the intensity picked up, the game became more physical and other players cared more, Stockton couldn’t push himself any further. -- Sean Sweeney, Dime Magazine
Also the Jazz, Stockton's Jazz, that went to the Western Conference Finals 5 times in 7 years, were perpetual underachievers too. You know, because making the final four five times in seven years is such a damn easy thing to do when you start Adam Keefe and Felton Spencer / Greg Ostertag.
Anyway, I'm not a fan of his arguments. Let him hear it. (And drive up Dime's ad revenue from unique page views by clicking on the full article here.)
Btw, if you like stats . . . . here are the Career Head to Head match ups for:
- John Stockton vs. Magic Johnson
- John Stockton vs. Isiah Thomas
- John Stockton vs. Mark Price
- John Stockton vs. Kevin Johnson
- John Stockton vs. Tim Hardaway
- John Stockton vs. Gary Payton
- John Stockton vs. Jason Kidd
It includes all regular season and playoff games; and shows wins as well.