Among the most atypical dominant players in NBA history is John Stockton. A small (1m85), light (77 kilos) “gentleman”, without extraordinary athleticism, that nothing predestined to shine as much in the NBA. And yet, in 19 seasons with Jazz, he will establish himself as one of the most solid, consistent and statistically monstrous players of all time.
A monster of regularity
Two statistics prove it perfectly: out of the 1,526 regular season games played between 1984 and 2003, he played 1,504! He only missed four games in 1989-1990, then 18 in 1997-1998. Then, with 15,806 assists and 3,265 interceptions, he remains the best passer and interceptor in NBA history to this day.
The peak of his career is undoubtedly in the final of conference 1997. In Game 6 in Houston more precisely. The two teams compete to get a ticket to the Finals against the Bulls. Against Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, John Stockton delivers his best performance of the series, with 25 points and 13 assists.
Above all, still in the company of his faithful Karl Malone, he scored 13 of Utah's last 19 points to allow his family to stay alive in “money time”. The last three have become legendary in the Salt Lake City franchise, but also in the NBA.
Charles Barkley's tribute
There are 2.8 seconds left to play and the scoreboard is blocked at 100 everywhere. After a screen (not necessarily legal) from Karl Malone to free him, he receives the ball, poses a dribble to get closer to the 3-point line and sends a Charles Barkley too far away to totally annoy him.
The buzzer sounds, the ball enters the basket: the Jazz is in Finals! “I don't know if I can describe this moment”, including the hero after the encounter. “It is an incredible feeling. “
A handsome player, Charles Barkley recognizes the superiority of his opponent. “This is why Stockton is one of the top five players I have faced in my career. He's a badass. The best team won and the best player in this series was John Stockton. ”
This shoot is one of the most decisive in NBA history since it is one of the six that led to the conclusion of a series, including the exploits of Damian Lillard and Michael Jordan.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlvTKYWbKSM (/ embed)