Disrespecting John Stockton?


         A lot of people in Jazzdom were upset at former guard Mark Jackson’s comments on John Stockton, this week.

         The Warriors’ coach told reporters that he had the best-shooting guard tandem in NBA history. Then he started naming combinations until he got to Stockton and Hornacek. Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 9.56.52 AM

         “Hornacek — great shooter. John Stockton — good to very good shooter. Not a great shooter,” Jackson said. “Don’t get me wrong. He was an all-time great player. But John Stockton would not be considered a great shooter.”

         Though the numbers don’t bear that out – Stockton’s all-time field goal percentage was 51.5 percent (34.8 from 3-point range) – I have to say that I didn’t think Jackson was an ingrate for saying it.

         I have heard from Jazz sources over the years that said Jackson and Stockton had some issues. So the coach’s comments might not be so objective. Still, I didn’t think it was terribly mean to rate Jeff Hornacek over Stockton.

         Maybe it was Stockton’s off-the-shoulder delivery, or the fact that he missed the final shot of the 1998 NBA Finals. But I’ve always felt a bit like Jackson – that Stockton was a phenomenal player, but not necessarily a shooter’s shooter.

         No disrespect on my part, either.

         Hornacek was a shooter’s shooter.

         If the clock was running down and the ball in Stockton’s hands, I knew something good would usually happen. But if time were expiring and putting up a perimeter shot the only option, I maybe would have wanted Hornacek to take the shot.

         Yes, I was there when Stockton sent the Jazz to the NBA Finals.  The man was a big play guy. Both guards were fine shooters. I just don’t think Jackson is the Vlad the Impaler for suggesting that he’d take Horacek’s shooting over Stockton’s.

         People are taking a lot of offense over a simple observation.

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Brad Rock

Brad Rock writes a sports column for the Deseret News. Plus this blog thingy, which usually runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If you're reading this, rather than his column, stop. Go back. Read his column, too at deseretnews.com/sports. You'll feel better about yourself.

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