Looks can be deceiving, and most players who had to match up against John Stockton learned that the hard way. When you’re a white point guard from Spokane, Washington, they don’t see you coming. Baron Davis can attest to that.
Stockton used the fact everyone underestimated him against them. Players weren’t aware of how athletic he was, and when they realized, it was too late. Davis compared him to Steph Curry in that regard (via Knuckleheads):
He was a lot taller (than you’d think). Like, when you look at him on the court, on TV, his looks can be deceiving. It’s almost like how Steph Curry looks. On TV he looked like, oh man, he looked like a regular dude. But when you stand next to him you’re like “Yo, this mothafu**** built like an athlete.”Baron Davis, via Knuckleheads
Still, his most significant muscle was the one between his ears. Davis talked about how no matter what you did, Stockton would get to his spots and execute what he had planned. He would outthink you, above all else. Davis said he had never been taken out of the game so fast, after playing against Stockton.
That’s why Stockton is one of those players that get a lot more respect from people who played against him than the rest of us. When a player punishes every little mistake you make and challenges your fundamentals, it doesn’t pop off the screen, but it makes his opponent’s life miserable.