Legends who go back to coaching for the teams they starred for don’t always work out, but the Utah Jazz seem eager to have their rebuilding process attached to John Stockton, hoping to convince the hall of fame point guard to be the one who replaces Tyrone Corbin at the head coach position.
Stockton, who has been retired since 2003, is the all-time leader in assists and steals for the entire NBA and not just the franchise. He made it to two NBA finals and will always be synonymous with Karl Malone, as the two spent almost their entire career playing side by side, falling just short of winning at least one NBA championship.
The former Gonzaga player isn’t exactly keen on getting back in the spotlight, although Salt Lake City rarely offers national exposure to the players and staff, or at least not since both Stockton and Malone were playing on the team.
Corbin was let go after a lame duck season. The Jazz lost both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, going with a young concept for the 2013-2014 season which started out terribly and finished in the same way after a decent stretch in the middle thanks to the emergence of rookie point guard Trey Burke.
No one from the Jazz has confirmed the approach to Stockton, nor has the Olympic Gold Medalist confirmed anything himself. San Antonio Spurs assistant and former University of Utah coach Jim Boylen has been widely mentioned as the leading candidate to take over. There’s also Chicago Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin, current Jazz assistant Brad Jones, former Missouri coach and veteran NBA assistant Quin Snyder and also Ettora Messina, currently coaching in Russia.
Stockton has no coaching experience which might be an issue, but sometimes emotional ties and what it might mean for the fan base and even the players by having an NBA legend standing on the sidelines overcomes over parameters that might be more important in the hiring process.