UTAH JAZZ

John Stockton Made NBA Debut On This Day 36 Years Ago

Oct 26, 2020, 1:09 PM | Updated: Oct 27, 2020, 10:27 am
John Stockton being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)...
John Stockton being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – October 26 marks one of the most important dates in Utah Jazz history. The opening game of the 1984 season was the day John Stockton, future Hall of Famer, and the NBA’s all-time assists and steals leader made his debut with the Jazz.

The Jazz faced off against the Seattle SuperSonics to begin the year, suffering a 102-94 loss on the road. Stockton played 17 minutes in his debut and scored four points, dished five assists, and grabbed two steals in 17 reserve minutes.

Stockton received a warm reception from the Washington crowd having spent his college career at nearby Gonzaga University. The Jazz drafted Stockton with the 16th pick in the first round of the 1984 draft.

The guard would go on to appear in 10 All-Star games, earn 11 All-NBA nods, five All-Defensive team selections while leading the Jazz to two NBA Finals appearances. Stockton was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Two other NBA greats also made their debuts on October 26. Philadelphia 76ers forward Charles Barkley scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds in his debut against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Michael Jordan scored 16 points, handed out seven assists, grabbed six rebounds, and blocked four shots in his Chicago Bulls debut against the Washington Bullets.

Other Notable Jazz Debuts

Stockton’s beginning isn’t the only notable debut in Jazz history. Teammate and pick and roll partner Karl Malone made his debut on October 25, 1985, and scored eight points, snared six rebounds, and recorded four steals in a loss to the Houston Rockets.

All-Star guard Deron Williams first debuted with the Jazz on November 2, 2005. Williams helped lead the Jazz to a 93-82 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Williams scored 18 points while grabbing three rebounds and handing out three assists in 26 minutes off the bench.

Current Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell made his debut on October 18, 2017. Mitchell scored 10 points and had four assists against the Denver Nuggets in a 106-96 Jazz win.

Darrell Griffth has perhaps the most impressive debut in Jazz history. The former high flyer and Rookie of the Year award winner scored 26 points in his debut. Griffith added eight rebounds and five steals in the Jazz 96-86 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on October 10, 1980.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Russell-Westbrook-Jordan-Clarkson-Jazz-Lakers-Knicks...
Ben Anderson

Report: Jazz, Lakers, Knicks Talked Mitchell, Westbrook Trade

The Jazz reportedly discussed a three-team trade involving the Knicks and Lakers designed around Donovan Mitchell and Russell Westbrook. 
2 days ago
Alex-Jensen-team-USA...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Alex Jensen To Coach USA Basketball AmeriCup Team

Utah Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen has been named the head coach of the 2022 USA Basketball AmeriCup team. 
3 days ago
Gilbert-Arenas-Dwayne-Wade...
Ben Anderson

Arenas: Wade Still Better Than Jazz Players From Gobert Trade

Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas said that Dwyane Wade is still better today than the five players the Jazz received in the Rudy Gobert trade.
3 days ago
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert dunks (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)...
Ben Anderson

Should Jazz Retire Number 27 For Rudy Gobert?

Should the Utah Jazz retire the number 27 jersey worn by Rudy Gobert when he decides he's done playing in the NBA?
4 days ago
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) goes to work on New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) (Sc...
Ben Anderson

New Look Jazz Open 2022-23 Preseason In Canada

The Utah Jazz announced the dates of four preseason games ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season including the opener played in Edmonton, Canada.
4 days ago
Utah Jazz guards Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Roster Needs Serious Work, Regardless Of Mitchell Trade

While all eyes are on a potential Donovan Mitchell trade, the Utah Jazz roster will require a lot of work before the season opens next month.
5 days ago
John Stockton Made NBA Debut On This Day 36 Years Ago