12 days left until the 2010-11 NBA season tips off.
Brought to you by John Stockton, the purest point guard to ever play the game.
Stockton, like his other half, was Mr. Consistent. Game in and game out, season in and season out, you knew what you were getting. Stockton ran Jerry Sloan’s offense with perfection, pick’n’rolling his way to a few finals appearances, the hall of fame and atop a few NBA leader boards.
After 19 seasons and 1,504 games (#3 all-time) John Stockton retired at the ripe old age of 40. Throughout his illustrious career, Stock dished out 15,806 assists (nearly 5,000 more than the second best). John was also the NBA’s most prolific crook, nabbing himself 3,265 career steals, both of which are NBA records.
But the thing we remember best about his career are his trademark shorts. As the game progressed and Jordan-era ushered in the love affair of Hip-hop & basketball to give us their offspring, baggy shorts, John never followed suit, sticking with a smedium fit till the end.
What is this graphic that looks like your 11th grade math homework? It’s a graphical representation of the best 10 seasons of the top 20 players since 1977 (Seasons are Advanced SPM VORP, careers were measured by total VORP.) (SPM = Statistical Plus/Minus; VORP = Value Over Replacement Player)
That guy at the very top? That’s the G.O.A.T. himself and this graph, loosely translated, states that Jordan’s 10 best seasons were better than the best seasons of almost every single Top 20 player in NBA history.
Michael actually lays claim to 8 of the top 10 seasons in NBA history since 1977. David Robinson snuck in there with the 5th best season and John Stockton had the 10th best season.
I’m sure the question everyone is begging to ask is “How did Kobe stack up?” According to this chart, Kobe’s best season is slightly better than Jordan’s 9th best season. Translation? Jordan had 8 different seasons of basketball that dwarf Kobe’s career best season.
And for those of you keeping score in the Kobe vs. Shaq fued. Shaq’s best season is slightly better than Kobe’s best season.
Typically within a basketball card collection you can track the development of outside aesthetics—hip-hop mainly—and how they influenced basketball.
That is, a player’s ‘86 rookie card will feature tight shorts that end four inches above their knee. By ‘95, they look like they’ve been a part of an Allen Iverson-hosted What Not To Wear.
Not the case with Stockton, who looks basically the same in every single photo of him ever taken. I assume he popped out of the womb with a five o’clock shadow, short shorts, and a preternatural ability to drop pinpoint passes.
In 1991 Isiah Thomas was left off of the original Dream Team, some say at the behest of Michael Jordan (those two didn’t like each other).
Subsequently, Thomas blamed John Stockton for stealing his Dream Team spot, and in their first regular season encounter the Pistons ran repeated iso’s so that Isiah could drop 40 points on Stockton’s head.
In their next encounter Karl Malone dropped something else on Isiah’s head.
Three-days-from-the-Hall-of-Famer Karl Malone gave Isiah Thomas plastic surgery and 40 stitches in 1991, courtesy of this elbow.