View Full Version : Jazz honor Flopton with statue

03-31-2005, 02:09 PM
SALT LAKE CITY - Now, John Stockton truly is a permanent fixture with the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz honored Stockton on Wednesday with an 8-foot statue of the NBA’s career leader in assists and steals, a rendering of Stockton making a one-handed pass in his trademark short shorts.

“It’s quite humbling,” said Stockton, who avoided personal attention as much has he could through his 19-year career.

The bronze statue features Stockton wearing an old-style Jazz uniform with a musical note forming the “J” in Jazz. It stands on a small plaza south of the Delta Center, just off “John Stockton Drive” — as the street was renamed after Stockton retired in 2003.

About 10 feet away is another concrete pedestal, where a statue of Karl Malone will stand. Malone played 18 of his 19 seasons with Stockton and is the second-leading scorer in NBA history thanks in large part to thousands of passes from Stockton.

Bronze plaques commemorating Stockton and Malone and their career achievements surround the pedestals.

“It will be good to see the big fella up here in short order,” Stockton said.

The statue is about the last way the Jazz can honor Stockton. He had a farewell ceremony after he announced his retirement nearly two years ago, and his No. 12 was retired in November.

Jazz owner Larry Miller said the team is done with the tributes, which is just fine with Stockton.

“He never wants to take the credit for it. He had such a remarkable role in it, but he did it so quietly,” Miller said.

Miller, known for tearful speeches, had to pause several times and wipe his eyes before the final tribute was unveiled. Stockton was applauded by the few hundred people who gathered on the sunny afternoon to see his six children cut the ribbons and release a canopy of balloons that covered the statue.

Stockton made a few remarks to the fans, joking to the sculptor that the biceps were probably a little small.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who coached Utah for nearly all of the Stockton and Malone era, sat quietly and watched as Stockton thanked him and credited everybody he played with for his success.

“I don’t look at this as a statue of me as much as an embodiment of what this team has been about,” Stockton told the crowd.

Utah took Stockton in the first round of the 1984 draft, using the No. 16 pick on a relatively unknown player from Gonzaga who became one of the best players ever.

Stockton spent his entire career with the Jazz and finished with 19,711 points, 15,806 assists and 3,265 steals. He also holds NBA records for most assists in a season (1,164 in 1990-91) and highest assist average in a season (14.5 in 1989-90).

As reluctant as he has been to accept the praise he has received since retiring, Stockton did seem to enjoy Wednesday’s ceremony before Utah’s home game against the Denver Nuggets.

“This was done first class. I don’t know how a person could object,” Stockton said.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


I hear they've been having some trouble with the statue.

It keeps falling down.

03-31-2005, 03:14 PM
Without even looking, I knew the article would mention his shorts.

03-31-2005, 04:39 PM
Stockton is one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He really made the Jazz what they were in Utah. A statue might be a little much, but calling him Flopton also seems to be a little much.

03-31-2005, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky
Stockton is one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He really made the Jazz what they were in Utah. A statue might be a little much, but calling him Flopton also seems to be a little much.

I think the nickname fits him pretty well (obviously, I guess).

Though I don't think Dantley ever gets enough credit, I do agree that it was Stockton who not only made the Jazz what they were in Utah, but also made Karl Malone the greatest PF of all time. That said, I think he was one of the best (worst?) floppers to ever play the game, and an all around dirty player to begin with.

I'll never forget his shot to win the '97 WCF in game 6. It was a great shot, but it was set up by a moving screen that Karl Malone set on Clyde Drexler. That sort of play just epitomizes Utah Jazz basketball in the Sloan/Stockton/Malone era, and I'm glad that he and Karl never won a ring.

"The Jazz manipulate referees so well with their flops. They abuse the rules. It's frustrating to play against that kind of a team and it's frustrating to coach against them." - Don Nelson

03-31-2005, 08:19 PM
I wouldn't exactly call Stockton a dirty player.. he never played with the intent to injure and really didn't ever go out of his way to cheat.. but if I had the chance to do something I could get away with (i.e. "moving pick") or watch the NBA Finals from home, I'd set the pick any day of the week. Whether it was intentionally a moving pick or not is questionable..

My favorite memory of him was at a Wolves game a few years ago when he set a pick on Rod Strickland and from about the 10th row, I heard the "thwack!" of flesh-on-flesh, contact basketball. He really stepped into the picks. I appreciate a hard worker and a physical player any day of the week.

03-31-2005, 09:47 PM
The NBA's all-time leader in assists and steals... yeah he wasn't very good.

04-01-2005, 09:24 AM
Stockton is my favorite non-maverick of all time (i think I've said that before on tis site) and he deserves this. The city of Utah should be thankful to have had the greatest point gaurd in NBA history. Congratulations John.

PS- dont call him flopton