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"The best pure
point guard
who ever
played
the game"
--Charles
Barkley


 
Frank Layden
Stockton's first NBA coach

Fond memories: If Frank Layden, the former coach and president of the Utah Jazz, went out on a limb to select John Stockton with the 16th pick of the 1984 NBA draft, it might have been simply for the sake of material.

‘‘He has a lot of things going for him,” Layden would say. ‘‘He's Irish, Catholic, he laughs at my jokes, and his dad owns a bar. What more could I want?”

Ba-da-bing.

Everyone was Layden's straight man, including Stockton.

After his rookie year, Stockton was speaking at a luncheon in Spokane and recalled the first John Stockton Poster Night at the Salt Palace, where the Jazz then played their home games. He recalled going to the free-throw line and having a paper airplane sail across the court, landing at his feet.

‘‘I picked it up and unfolded it,” he said, ‘‘and it was a poster of me.”

‘‘Yeah,” and Layden chimed in, ‘‘and I was the guy who threw it.”

 
 
   

Utah Jazz guard John Stockton, right, looks to pass against pressure from Dallas Mavericks guard Steve Nash during an April game in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)
 
 


 
 
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