John Stockton: The Most Underrated Season of His Career
John Stockton is arguably the greatest Utah Jazz player in franchise history. He is in the discussion for good reason. Stockton is a Hall of Famer, 10-time All-Star, and led the league in assists nine times throughout his impressive career. So, which season of his career tends to get overlooked the most despite his success? That is what we will be looking at on this version of the “most underrated season,” series. Without further adieu, let’s delve into Stockton’s career.
John Stockton: His Most Underrated Season
John Stockton: His 1988-89 Campaign
Stockton would officially solidify himself as an All-Star in the 1988-89 season. He was in his fourth year and it was clear he was going to be a key cornerstone for the Jazz for the next decade. The NBA was taking notice of his great play-making and efficiency on the floor. Not to mention, the Jazz would make the playoffs with him handling the point guard duties yet again.
Both John Stockton and Karl Malone were becoming one of the league’s promising young duos to watch. We all know they would eventually blossom into one of, if not, the best pick and roll tandem of all time. Malone was in his fourth year as well and despite making an All-Star Game before Stockton, much of his success came from the play-making of Stock (not to take anything away from Malone of course.) All in all, if there were any doubters of Stockton before the 1988-89 season, their mind was changed after the year.
Stock’s Numbers in 1988-89
John Stockton would tally 17.1 points per game in this particular season. He also would average what would be his career-high in steals per game of 3.2 resulting in one of his two steals leader titles. On top of this, Stockton would also come away with an impressive 13.6 assists per game giving him his second of nine assists leader titles. After all, the man is still number one in assists in NBA history with 15,806.
Stockton’s advanced stats were also impressive. For the 1988-89 campaign, he would come away with a defensive rating of 101. This would end up being the second-lowest total of his career in this category. Not to mention, Stockton also averaged a career-best steal percentage of 4.1 percent during this specific season. John Stockton is truly one of the best players in NBA history and his overlooked 1988-89 campaign helps add to his legacy.
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