There's so much one can say about Utah Jazz legend John Stockton. The more and more you look at his stats the more and more wonder and appreciation you gain for him, and his game. I grew up watching him play. I was in medical school when he was still schooling Steve Nash in the NBA Playoffs. I didn't look at advanced statistics back then, but I understand them now. And, oh my, John Stockton was amazing.
He has a career offensive rating of 116 . . . in the playoffs. In the regular season it's 121. He played in 1504 games, and 47764 total regular season minutes. That rating is amazing. Everyone (wrongly) liked Kevin Johnson better (everyone outside of Jazz fans that is), but KJ's last playoff series was when he was 33 years old, and his Off/Def rating split then was 75 off / 104 defense. When John was 39, his playoff Off/Def rating split was 120 off / 98 def.
John came into the league shooting 18.2 3pt%, and finished it with career averages of 38.4 3pt%. As a guard, one with nearly 14,000 FGA (or half a metric kobe), he has a career 51.5fg%. He shot over 50.0 fg% in 12 of his 19 seasons. In 6 other seasons he shot between 48.2 fg% and 49.9 fg%.
Steve Nash is a superior free throw shooter and three point threat than John was, but Nash has only gone over 50.0 fg% 7 times. John did it 12 times. And he only has 3 seasons going between 48%-50%, to John's 6. Nash is a better shooter (career 1.35 pps), but I'd say that on any given shot John was a better maker (career 1.44 pps). But with John it was really about setting up his team mates. He made other guys better, he was the captain of a team that got to the NBA FINALS while starting Adam Keefe, and playing him 25.6 mpg. Seriously, that's hard mode right there. Bravo for beating those late 90's Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, Seattle Supersonics, and San Antonio Spurs teams while starting Keefe, and keeping him on the floor for more minutes than the Jazz are currently playing Derrick Favors right now.
Here are John's apg numbers from his first season starting (started 79 of 82 games), and the following decade:
- '87-88: 13.8 agp
- '88-89: 13.6 apg
- '89-90: 14.5 apg
- '90-91: 14.2 apg
- '91-92: 13.7 apg
- '92-93: 12.0 apg
- '93-94: 12.6 apg
- '94-95: 12.3 apg
- '95-96: 11.2 apg
- '96-97: 10.5 apg
Magic Johnson had 9 seasons in a row of 10+ apg. Oscar Robertson 4. Isiah Thomas 4. Kevin Johnson 4. Steve Nash 4 years in a row. Chris Paul 3. Jason Kidd did it twice with a whopping 2 years in a row. Tim Hardaway 2 years in a row. Mark Jackson two years in a row as well. Bob Cousy never averaged 10 apg for a season, in any of his years playing the game. John did it for an entire decade in a row. And to think . . . had the Jazz not held John back by playing him off the bench for his first three seasons in the league that monumental number could be even bigger!
But the best trivia about John Stockton is simply this: