On slow bball days, share your opinion on two players: Stockton vs Nash. I'm saying Stockton was clearly the better player, the other person Nash. I argue that you look at their stats and Stockton just annhilates Nash on pretty much every area, the other person talks about Nash changing the game. Do you have an opinion? Even better question: Do you have a sense of what "the league" would think?
The league would probably say thank goodness; not Jordan and LeBron again. It's a very good debate because Nash won two Most Valuable Player awards, which would suggest the way sports is debated these days—who's had better stats and more famous shots—that it would be Nash. After all, back to back MVPs is the all-time list: Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Moses, Bird, Magic, Jordan, Duncan, LeBron and Curry. So what's Steve Nash doing in there? And not Kobe, Shaq, Garnett, Hakeem, Barkley, West, Baylor and Oscar. Which is the long way around of saying I'd have Stockton by a nose. Not so much a mouth since not even Kareem ran from the media like Stockton did. Not with the haughty condescension of Kareem. But in a time when there weren't locker room hiding places, Stockton always found one. He mastered the art of saying so little with so little interest in a polite way, reporters finally just gave up. Defensively there was no comparison. Stockton was an elite defender. Perhaps another MVP debate would be worst defensive MVP ever. Probably Nash closely followed by Curry and then Harden. And actually Westbrook.
Hey, there's been some really bad defenders winning MVP awards lately. More evidence of the changing nature of the MVP. Stockton was less flashy than Nash and with somewhat less shooting range. Stockton was an underrated good shooter; Nash was a great shooter. Stockton probably could have gained more notice, but preferred to find Karl Malone. But Stockton hit huge shots, perhaps the biggest to get the Jazz to the Finals in 1997. Both had long backup apprentice starts to their careers, Stockton behind Chicago's underrated Rickey Green and Nash third string in Phoenix before developing one of the great pick and roll offenses with Dirk Nowitzki. Mike D'Antoni's offensive system was built for Nash, the precursor for today's style of play that inflated statistics for everyone. No coach got more players paid than Mike D'Antoni. For longevity, impact, consistency and all round play I'd have to pick Stockton even as I enjoyed watching Nash more.