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.
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