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Stockton-to-Malone Week: Statistical History, or Historical Statistics

August 9, 2010

Days from now, Karl Malone will join John Stockton and Jerry Sloan in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Let’s fete and honor the greatest duo in NBA history with Stockton-to-Malone Week. S2M Week is brought to you by my digital pack ratting, est. circa 1995.

I actually don’t even know where to begin with this one. It’s absolutely staggering what Stockton and Malone accomplished on the basketball court. Between them, they hold the all-time records in six of the major NBA statistical categories (though I doubt either of them would care to know that they rank 1 & 2 on all-time turnovers. More on that later).

Karl Malone ranks sixth or higher in eleven different statistical categories. John Stockton ranks fifth or higher in six different categories.

You expect Karl to have made his mark in minutes played, games, points, free throws and rebounds. You don’t expect him to be ranked 10th all-time in steals, 43rd all-time in assists, and 53rd all-time in blocks.

Side Note #1: Andrei Kirilenko, for all his injury problems, is already 39th all-time in blocks.

John Stockton, meanwhile, put the assists and steals records so far out of reach that they are considered two of the most unbreakable records in sports. Stock also had a ridiculous Assist %, which is basically the percentage of Jazz FGs he assisted while on the floor, of 50.24%. You read that right. When John Stockton was on the floor, he accounted for more than 50% of the entire team’s assists. Is it any wonder that Karl Malone is the second leading scorer of all time?

On the day of Karl’s retirement ceremony, Stock used the word “hideous” to describe Karl’s stats. Stock’s own stats are equally ridiculous:

Take a moment to appreciate the ridiculousness.

On turnovers, which I mentioned earlier:

Karl and John being ranked first and second all-time on that list has a lot to do with how long they played. I say this because Karl (87-88) and John (88-89)’s top respective turnover seasons ranked 23rd and 47th on the single season turnovers list.

Side Note #2: Basketball Reference lists all-time statistical leaders in three columns: ABA & NBA, NBA, and ABA. As I was getting numbers for this post, I kept seeing “Ron Boone” in the right-hand column.

Our very own Booner was the Stockton/Malone of his day/the ABA. He was known as “The Legend” because of his consistency and because he always showed up to camp in shape. He also played in 1,041 straight games, which was a then-record. Very S2M, right? He’s even–you guessed it–first in all-time ABA turnovers.

People talk about how part of the reason Stockton and Malone’s achievements were so amazing was that they weren’t top draft picks. Well, at least they were first-round picks. Booner wasn’t drafted until the 11th round (147th overall) of the 1968 NBA Draft and the 7th round of the 1968 ABA Draft. There’s your bit of NBA/ABA history for the day.

All stats from Basketball Reference.

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