Report: Jazz to contact John Stockton about head-coaching job
The Jazz plan to contact Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton about their coaching vacancy, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
Stockton spent his entire 19-year career with Utah, where he became the NBA's all-time leader in assists and steals. His deep connection with the franchise and high basketball IQ as a star floor leader would make him a home-run hire with many fans. However, Stockton has no NBA coaching experience, and as noted by Stein, he has done his best to avoid publicity since retiring in 2003.
Last November, in an interview with SI.com's Chris Mannix, Stockton addressed the possibility of coaching in the NBA.
SI.com: What's a day in the life of John Stockton these days?
Stockton: Well, it's kind of a mess of activities. There is not the same structure -- I don't have practice at 10, games at 7; I get to pick and choose my spots. But it's very busy. I'm in a number of businesses. I'm in a couple of construction projects. I'm doing a lot of coaching, some high school, some younger. When I first retired, I was an assistant on seven or eight teams at once.
SI.com: Your old backcourt-mate, Jeff Hornacek, is now a head coach. Jason Kidd is now a head coach. A lot of guards have become head coaches. Ever think about it?
Stockton: I've thought about it. But even if I started right away [after finishing as a player], like Jason did, it wouldn't have answered the problem of wanting to spend more time with my family. I would be right back in that mold. If I was going to do that, I might as well play. I'd rather play. Playing is a lot more fun. Coaching is a rough business.
SI.com: Will we ever see you back in the NBA?
Stockton: I've never ruled it out. I have not sought it out either. It's just not time for me. I don't know that I'm an office guy in any way shape or form. If I were to come back, it would be on the coaching side.
As Stein noted, there's no downside to reaching out to Stockton.
In Stockton's case, asking where he stands on coaching, if nothing else, is a natural due-diligence strategy for the Jazz, who already have employed Karl Malone as a development coach and welcomed [Hall of Fame coach Jerry] Sloan back to the organization last season in an advisory capacity.
The Jazz have taken a measured approach to their coaching search since parting ways with Tyrone Corbin on April 21. General manager Dennis Lindsey told the Deseret News on Tuesday that Utah is "getting closer to moving to the part where we'll reach out" to candidates. The Jazz have promised an "exhaustive" process that could include about 20 candidates. Utah finished 25-57 this season, the worst record in the Western Conference. The Jazz have the fourth-best chance (11.9 percent) of winning next Tuesday's draft lottery.