Rickey Green Recalls Early Days Of Stockton And Malone
Dec 18, 2023, 4:00 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah Jazz All-Star Rickey Green recalled what it was like seeing John Stockton and Karl Malone develop during the early years of their careers.
Green was in Utah as part of a celebration of the rosters of the 80s and sat down with Jeremiah Jensen of KSL Sports to discuss the early days of the franchise, and what he saw in Stockton and Malone.
Rickey Green Discusses Stockton And Malone
Green had been in Utah for four seasons before the team selected Stockton with the 16th pick of the 1984 NBA Draft.
An All-Star in his own right, Green recognized Stockton’s talent early on.
“One thing that Stockton did a lot, he didn’t turn the ball over,” Green said, “and he knew how to get he ball to the scorers.”
Green remained the Jazz’s starting point guard for three seasons while Stockton came off the bench, but the future Hall of Famer eventually earned the starting job by year four.
April 23, 1987: Karl Malone, Rickey Green and @markeaton7ft4 had double-doubles and @bigTbailey had 20 points off the bench as the @utahjazz took Game 1 of their best of 5 series with the Warriors in the 1987 #NBA Playoffs. #takenote #KSLSportsArchive pic.twitter.com/M48TjqpSIQ
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JeremiahJensen) April 23, 2020
The veteran guard remained in Utah for another season but was selected by the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA Expansion Draft in 1988.
Green also shared the floor with Malone for three seasons as “The Mailman” developed into a perennial All-Star.
“He was so big and could run so fast, and he became a great shooter, too,” Green remembered. “He didn’t have that touch at first but he got in the gym and worked on his craft.”
Though Green recognized their talent early in their NBA careers, he never imagined they would go on to become Hall of Famers and two of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.
“You never thought that they would become who they were,” Green said, “but they were a hell of a combination.”
Rickey Green’s Career With Jazz
The “Fastest of Them All,” Green was a six-foot point guard who originated from Chicago, Illinois.
After failing to catch his stride with Golden State and Detroit in the late 70s, Green joined the Hawaii Volcanos of the Continental Basketball Association.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) October 2, 2023
Jazz head coach and lead executive Frank Layden saw Green with the Volcanos in 1980 and signed him to play in Utah.
The guard averaged 11.4 points, 6.9 assists, and 1.8 steals in 606 games in Utah and was named to the 1984 All-Star game as a member of the Jazz.
Watch the whole interview with Green, and former Jazzman Jeff Wilkins in the player above.
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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.
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