This Day in Jazz History - June 19, 1984

by Bill Lea

With the 16th pick of the 1984 draft, the Jazz selected John Stockton out of Gonzaga University. Fans booed the selection as they didn't know much of the "too small" point guard from "some school" in Washington. At the time the Jazz had Rickey Green running the point and Stockton was drafted to be his backup. For his first three seasons, Stockton was the second-stringer but it was obvious that he had more talent than his predecessor. Stockton's first full season as a starter was 1987-88 and he ending up leading the NBA in assists with 13.8 per game. Stockton's ability to distribute the ball wasn't a fluke as he went on to lead the NBA in assists for eight consecutive seasons after that, setting a new benchmark for what a point guard should be. Stockton would go on to star for the Jazz and combined with Karl Malone formed the legendary, "Stockton to Malone" duo. Stockton spent his entire 19-year career in a Jazz uniform and led the Jazz to the playoffs each of those seasons, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances. Stockton retired as the NBA's all-time leader in assists (15,806) and steals (3,265), records that still hold strong to this day. Among his many accomplishments, Stockton was a 10-time all-star, 2-time Olympic gold medalist, all-star MVP, named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history and enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.