On This Date in Sports February 1, 1995: Stockton Passes Into History

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

John Stockton of the Utah Jazz becomes the NBA’s all-time leader in assists, collecting 16 dimes in a 129-88 thrashing of the Denver Nuggets at the Delta Center in Salt Lake. Stockton came into the game needing 11 assists to break Magic Johnson’s record of 9,221. John Stockton’s record-breaking assist naturally comes on a basket by Karl Malone with 6:22 in the first half. Stockton would finish his career with 15,806 career assists.

Born in Spokane, Washington, on March 26, 1962, the Utah Jazz selected John Stockton in the first round with the 16th overall pick out of Gonzaga. While he was not a big name out of college, fans in Utah soon recognized his skill as a point guard and playmaker. A year later, he was joined by Karl Malone, and the two became one of the top duos in the NBA for the next 18 years.

Together Stockton and Malone would make the Utah Jazz one of the NBA’s elite teams in the Western Conference, making the playoffs each season they were both on the team. At the same time, Karl Malone became one of the NBA’s all-time leading scorers with 36,928 career points. Many of which were possible thanks to the playmaking abilities of John Stockton. The pair played more games together than any other duo in the history of the NBA, as both made the dream team. In 1993, when the All-Star Game was played in Salt Lake City, Stockton, and Malone even shared MVP honors representing the Jazz.

Before Stockton, the NBA’s record for career assists belonged to Magic Johnson, who had 9,221 dimes in 874 games. John Stockton’s record came in his 860th game. He would finish his career with 15,806 career assists in 1,504 games. In addition to his 10.5 assists per game, Stockton averaged 13.1 points per game, as he also had the most career steals in the history of the NBA with 3,265. Named one of the NBA’s 50 best players in 1997, John Stockton would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.