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aexchange
05-02-2003, 04:57 PM
Stockton: 'I think it's time to move on'

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Associated Press


SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Jazz guard John Stockton, the NBA's all-time assist leader, said Friday that he plans to retire after 19 seasons.

John Stockton
Point Guard
Utah Jazz
Profile


2002-2003 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
82 10.8 2.5 7.7 .483 .826




Stockton, 41, met with Jazz owner Larry Miller and coach Jerry Sloan and told them he was not planning to return for a 20th season.


``I think I'm finished,'' Stockton said. ``I informed those guys and that's the direction I'm headed. I just said, 'I think it's time to move on.'''


Stockton's leanings marked the first major turn of what figures to be an eventful offseason for the Jazz. Forward Karl Malone, who becomes a free agent this summer, may not return because the Jazz have indicated they aren't likely to pay what Malone says he deserves.


Stockton, the Jazz's stonefaced leader, never seemed to age and continued to excel late in his career at a position that usually chases players away by their early 30s.


Stockton even spent his last few seasons trotting the ball up the court past a handful of former opponents who retired long ago and are coaching.


Named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, Stockton played in every game in 17 of his 19 seasons and is the runaway all-time leader in career assists (15,806) and steals (3,265).


During this last season, which saw the Jazz bounced 4-1 by Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs, Stockton routinely shrugged off questions about his future.


Was this it? Stockton's answer never varied far from, ``I don't know.''


On the court, there were few signs that it was time to go, other than the loss of a step on defense and allowing younger, more agile players to get past him like they couldn't do on a younger Stockton.


But he remained among the league leaders at point guard. He averaged 10.8 points this season -- down from his career high of 17.2 in the early 1990s. He was fifth in the league with 629 assists despite playing his fewest minutes since the strike-shortened 1998-99 season.


Stockton was drafted 16th overall by the Jazz out of Gonzaga, the Jesuit school in his hometown of Spokane, Wash. He was hardly known -- just a quiet, skinny 22-year-old with a thatch of jet black hair.


His appearance never changed much, but his anonymity vanished quickly once former coach Frank Layden made Stockton a starter in the 1987-88 season. That's when Stockton and forward Karl Malone established themselves as one of the top tandems ever to play.


Stockton went on a five-season spree averaging at least 1,100 assists and 200-plus steals while scoring between 14.7 and 17.2 points per game.


Stockton established himself as one of the premiere point guards in the league and earned himself a spot on 1992's Dream Team, which won Olympic gold in Barcelona.


He was an Olympian again in the 1996 Atlanta games, the summer before the Jazz went from Western Conference contenders to champions.


Stockton and Malone led the Jazz to back-to-back conference titles in 1997 and 1998, when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls spoiled Utah's best chance for an NBA title.


Stockton will always be known more for his pinpoint passing and tenacity on defense than his shooting. But some of the Jazz's most memorable baskets came from Stockton's hand.


It was Stockton's 26-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer in Houston that gave Utah its first trip to the NBA Finals in 1997. In the 1999 playoffs, his 22-footer at the horn saved the Jazz from elimination and Utah went on to beat Sacramento in the first round.




Truly sad day in sports. i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif

sturm und drang
05-02-2003, 05:00 PM
May the porno shorts rest in peace.

Drbio
05-02-2003, 05:05 PM
LOL @ S&D.


Another great career comes to an end.

LRB
05-02-2003, 05:22 PM
<< May the porno shorts rest in peace. >>



Hey it could be worse. Could you imagine Shaq or Shawn Kemp in the short shorts?i/expressions/face-icon-small-disgusted.gif

MavsFanFinley
05-02-2003, 05:24 PM
Thank you for that lovely image LRB. i/expressions/face-icon-small-disgusted.gif

I thought Stockton might give it one more year, but with all the talk about Malone looking elsewhere, he must have decided to end it now.

Another amazing career ended without winning a championship.

irontoad
05-02-2003, 05:25 PM
<< Hey it could be worse. Could you imagine Shaq or Shawn Kemp in the short shorts? >>



How about Robert Traylor?? i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

Rhylan
05-02-2003, 05:57 PM
little johnny stockton was greatness.

..even if I've had to hate him a few times. i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

DTL
05-02-2003, 06:18 PM
good-bye john. congratulations on a great career.

MavKikiNYC
05-02-2003, 06:52 PM
How many millions would it take to bring Stockton to Dallas and finally have a tough-SOB PG?

Cubes, bust out the checkbook.

MFFL
05-02-2003, 09:31 PM
Bye Stockton. We will miss your flopping and continual whines to the officials.

Drbio
05-02-2003, 09:35 PM
<<

<< Hey it could be worse. Could you imagine Shaq or Shawn Kemp in the short shorts? >>



How about Robert Traylor?? i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif >>




Or Oliver Miller....Ugh!

thebac
05-04-2003, 05:44 PM
Used to hate him, but now I can't help but respect (and even like) him. I would have really wished him a first-round upset this year i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

mavsfanforever
05-05-2003, 04:25 PM
Now it will be Nash to malone.

mavsfanforever
05-05-2003, 04:26 PM
<< Now it will be Nash to malone. >>


In Dallas.