Jazz's Stockton bound for Hall of Fame
Sports » 10-time All-Star spent his 19-year NBA career in Utah.
Salt Lake Tribune
Saturday, April 4, 2009
By Steve Luhm
John Stockton, the NBA's all-time leader in assists and steals, is headed to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Although the official announcement won't be made until Monday at the NCAA Final Four in Detroit, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned that Stockton has been voted into the Hall of Fame.
A 10-time All-Star who spent his entire 19-year NBA career with the Utah Jazz, Stockton will be inducted with other members of the Class of 2009 during ceremonies in September in Springfield, Mass.
Earlier this week, Stockton refused to look ahead to his possible election to the Hall of Fame.
"I don't know how I'm going to feel -- make or miss," he told The Tribune . "As things came along throughout my career, I always tried to take them as they came -- the good and the bad.
"I guess this fits into that category. I'm not sitting here waiting for a phone call. I'm not hoping or praying. [Possible induction] doesn't have a lot of meaning in the present. If that time comes, I may say a whole different thing. But that's my approach right now."
Stockton is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, having represented the United States in Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996).
Before retiring after the 2002-03 season, he missed only 22 games because of injury or illness.
"John was a great distributor of the ball. ... His durability was phenomenal," said Kevin McHale, the coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves and a member of the Hall of Fame.
"He was something special."
Like Stockton, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is one of the 16 finalists this year. But it is not known if he received enough votes (18) from the Hall of Fame's 24-member Honors Committee for induction.
Sloan did not coach the Jazz in Friday night's game against Minnesota. He traveled to McLeansboro, Ill., to attend the funeral of his 80-year-old brother, who died this week.
Sloan will rejoin the team in time for Sunday night's game at New Orleans.
So far, Stockton is one of three new Hall of Famers who have been identified.
The San Antonio-Express News reports that ex-Spurs center David Robinson has been elected. In New Jersey, several media outlets have reported that C. Vivian Stringer, the women's coach at Rutgers, has also been elected.
In addition, ex-Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan is considered a shoo-in for induction.
Former Utah Jazz star John Stockton watches from the stands as Westminster takes on Rocky Mountain during mens college basketball Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at Westminster in Salt Lake City. John's son Michael Stockton plays for Westminster College. Westminster was playing Rock Mountain College for the Frontier Conference Championship. Jim Urquhart/The Salt Lake Tribune; 3/10/09