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John Stockton

Steals And Assist Champion

Showing that his skill lay in steals and assists, Stockton led the NBA in steals in 1988 (3.21 spg) and again in 1991 (2.98 spg). In 1989, he rolled in the highest single-season assists-per-game, an average 14.5. The following season, he recorded most assists in a single season—1,164. Stockton accounted for seven of the nine seasons of 1,000 or more assists in league history.

He took a brief time out to help the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team win a gold medal at the Barcelona games, and served four years later with the team at the 1996 Atlanta Games. In 1993, the All-Star Game in Salt Lake City saw Stockton and teammate Karl Malone named co-MVPs. Stockton registered 15 assists, with 9 points and 6 rebounds.

Stockton became a free agent following the 1995-96 season and signed a three-year deal with the Jazz for $15 million. Continuing his astonishing performance that season, Stockton broke the NBA record of 9,921 career assists previous held by Los Angeles Lakers' Magic Johnson. Stockton now held the record for nine seasons leading the league in assists. That same season, he surpassed Maurice Cheeks' record of 2,310 steals during a 112-98 victory over the Boston Celtics. Not surprisingly, Stockton was named in 1996 one of the 50 greatest players in NBA History.

In game six of the 1997 Western Conference Finals, Stockton nailed the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in a 103-100 win over the Houston Rockets to propel the Jazz to their first trip to the NBA Finals.

John Stockton

Ageless wonder John Stockton, all-time NBA leader in every major assist category, has been playing for the Utah Jazz since 1984. He holds the record for most career assists and career steals. His love of the game, staying power, and nice guy reputation have caused some to say he represents all that is good in basketball. After signing another two-year contract at age 40, Stockton promises to achieve an assist record that will be challenge to beat.

John Stockton ranks among the top point guards in NBA history, the league's all-time leader in both assists and steals. A gritty, durable player who sees the floor as well as anyone who ever played the game, he holds many assists records, including the mark for career assists at 14,503 (entering 2001-02). Stockton's other records include most assists in a season (1,164), highest assists average for a season (14.5 apg), a tie for most assists in a playoff game (24), most consecutive seasons leading the league and total seasons leading the league (9), and a tie for third for most assists in a game (28).

In addition, in 1995-96 he became the league's all-time leader in steals, passing Maurice Cheeks' mark of 2,310. He had 2,976 at the conclusion of the 2000-01 season.

Stockton is an annual All-Star and All-NBA selection and has made the NBA All-Defensive Team three times. He has teamed with Karl Malone to form one of the most productive and enduring duos in league history. After missing a total of four games in his first 13 pro seasons, Stockton missed the first 18 games of the 1997-98 campaign following preseason knee surgery, but has played in every game since that time.

Source: NBA.com, www.nba.com/playerfile/john_stockton.

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Famous Sports StarsBasketballJohn Stockton Biography - Underrated But Proved His Worth, Steals And Assist Champion, John Stockton, Longevity And Durability