Skip to main content

25 game stretch that shows how incredible John Stockton was even at 40


John Stockton's longevity wasn't just about his unprecedented availability. Sure, only missing 22 games in a 19-year NBA career - 18 of those after knee surgery at the start of the 97/98 season - is impressive. But what's even more impressive is the level Stock played at, even in his penultimate season in the NBA.

At the age of 39, the Hall of Fame point guard started in all 82 games for the Jazz, averaging 31.3 minutes per contest. Stockton led Utah to 44 wins and the 8th seed in the West, making the Playoffs for the 18th consecutive time in his career.

Stockton finished the season averaging 13.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 8.2 APG on .517/.321/857 shooting splits. He had a similar output in the Playoffs, but the Jazz still lost a four-game series to the Sacramento Kings. Yet, Stock's run throughout the entirety of the 01/02 NBA season was unprecedented for a 39-year-old -- especially his last 25 games of the regular season.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

John turned 40 in the midst of the stretch but showed no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, he took his game to the next level, averaging 16.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 9 APG, and 2 SPG, shooting 55% from the field and 82% from the charity stripe.

His most impressive performance during the stretch came in Utah's 108-101 win over the Golden State Warriors when Stockton put up a game-high 26 points, along with 9 assists and four steals. He shot 7-for-11 from the floor, converting all of his 11 free-throw attempts, overshadowing future All-Star Gilbert Arenas in the process.

Stockton's individual excellence didn't translate into wins as much as he wanted to, as the Jazz went 12-13 during the stretch before losing to the Kings in the first round of the '03 NBA Playoffs. However, the fact he played that good that late into his NBA career is seriously impressive, and no other point guard was able to reach the same standard ever since.

Perhaps Chris Paul will be able to do it. Twenty-eight games into the 20/21 NBA season, at 35, the Suns point guard is putting up 17 points and nearly 9 assists per game, on incredible shooting efficiency. It seems like his game will continue to age gracefully, and assuming he stays healthy, the 16-year veteran might have a realistic shot of challenging Stockton's productivity that late into one's NBA career.

Until then, the Hall of Famer remains the measuring stick for every NBA point guard out there.

5 notable 2022 rookies - NBA stars comparisons

The playing style of these 5 notable 2022 rookies already resembles their NBA counterparts

Five of this year's pool of rookies already resemble the playing styles of some of the current NBA stars

Stephen A. Smith bashes New York Knicks draft activity

“Everybody got something but one team, and that’s the New York Knicks - Stephen A. Smith bashes New York Knicks draft activity

The Knicks seemed to have pulled off a sweet move for Jalen Duren, but ended up trading him to the Detroit Pistons, which enraged many Knicks fans, including Stephen A. Smith

Terrell Brandon on being hyped as the best point guard during the 90s

Terrell Brandon on being hyped as the best point guard in the 90s: "It's a little embarrassing"

In 1997, Sports Illustrated hailed Terrell Brandon as the best point guard in the NBA. However, "Tee Bee" just laughed and downplayed it all

Mark Madsen on Kobe Bryant's intensity

Mark Madsen describes Kobe Bryant's intensity: "If you miss the third one, he was comin’ at you"

Mark Madsen was never a key figure for the Lakers but Kobe Bryant didn't take that as an excuse not to deliver. Not even during practice sessions.

Dirk Nowitzki explains why he doesn't attend as many Mavericks games

Dirk Nowitzki explains why he doesn't often come to Mavs games: "I just needed a little mental break"

When Dirk says he needed a break from everything about basketball, the Mavericks are not exempted

The Orlando Magic passing on Chet Holmgren is the same type of blunder as to when the Trail Blazers passed on Kevin Durant

Orlando Magic passing on Chet Holmgren is a Kevin Durant type of blunder

This could be such a pivotal before and after moment that our kids will look back at this day and laugh at the absurdity.


"Coming into the paint would've not been very wise for Michael!"-Wilt thinks Jordan would not have been as good in his era

Wilt seemed to think MJ didn't have enough height or weight to fly over the big men of the 60s'.

How Kobe Bryant spent his millions

How Kobe Bryant spent his millions outside of the game of basketball

Bryant quickly bought a $4 million home in Newport Beach after committing his future to the Lakers, and he would eventually end up owning four houses in Orange Beach worth nearly $40 million combined.