In a tight schedule like the one we're witnessing in the NBA, longevity is crucial to success. But not just for one season; how an athlete takes care of his body determines the longevity of his career. The time he takes to get the right amount of rest, correct nutrition, and intelligent workout plans can make a massive difference in the long haul.
Stockton had an insane workout regime
That's also the reason why some of the best players in the league spend millions of dollars annually to stay at the top of their game. Of course, they need a little luck to avoid severe injuries because no regime or training program could help them get sidelined for a couple of months. However, even if they are blessed with a relatively healthy career and strictly follow their plan, it's still hard to play for more than 15 years on the highest level - not many players achieved it.
One guy who managed to have a long and impressive career and was often described as Mr. Indestructable is none other than the legendary Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton. One of the best point guards to ever play the game had a strict work ethic, which helped him be in mind-blowing shape.
"From a purely clinical standpoint, he is a marvel even to doctors. His resting heart rate is 35 beats per minute - half that of a relatively well-conditioned male. That trait alone allows him to recover while standing at the free throw line; other players must take timeouts or sit out to catch their breath", Brad Rock wrote.
Brad Rock, Deseret.com
His body was like a machine
Stockton's ex-coaches explain that his body was like a machine that couldn't get tired quickly, so that's one of the reasons why he had calmness in exhausting moments. "He doesn't sweat," said Jeff Condell, a former Gonzaga teammate. And he wasn't the only one who admired Stockton's ability to recover.
"His body is, well, very efficient. His capillaries, how the oxygen exchanges through his lungs, his heart rate, blood pressure — he's taken that and fine tuned it. He's a hell of an athlete as far as the human body is concerned. His body is very efficient."
Steve Delong, Deseret.com
Apart from his high basketball IQ, John proved he was one of the most resilient players in history through his 19 seasons in the league. He played multiple 82-game seasons. In his first 13 seasons, Stockton missed only four games, and one thing that helped him achieve it was his conditioning. He only missed a total of 19 games in his career which is a feat that sounds out of this world when you think of how many games today's NBA players miss in the regular season. If you looked on the court in the Bulls - Jazz finals, you wouldn't say the short white guy is one of the most athletic players on the court. Instead, Stockton perfectly embodied the saying that you never should judge a book by its covers.