Assisted: An Autobiography

by John Stockton with Kerry L. Pickett

Assisted an autobiography by John Stockton

Full disclosure. I care less than not at all about professional sports. Well, perhaps that isn’t entirely accurate. I am an only girl, raised with boys who LOVE sports. Though football is the big one in my family, all other sports are also welcomed. And local teams… well, mostly they love the local teams. I am from Utah and was a teenager in the glory days of the Utah Jazz when Stockton and Malone were making playoffs left and right and losing championships to the Chicago Bulls. So, while I don’t watch sports for fun (unless they are college sports, which I actually DO enjoy, and just check the scores via the internet, nothing major) I am not a complete novice when it comes to understanding the rules of sports, the teams, or even the players. While my interest level may be low, my knowledge level is average. So, how did I end up with a sport’s autobiography that isn’t about running? Good question. For Christmas, I always buy books for my in-laws, and sometimes for my parents. Last year (2016) I was looking at sports books for both my dad and my father-in-law. Both of them are big BYU fans, so after exhausting those books, I thought my dad might like this Stockton autobiography as I’d read about it. When I placed my orders, I noticed that I’d actually selected the Steve Young biography for my dad and had an extra sports book. I thought maybe I’d save it and give it to him for Father’s Day… but I read it and decided to keep it instead. Hey, look, this is me, and no books are safe with me. I don’t apologize.

In sports, I tend to root for the quiet athletes. Those who keep their cool, aren’t cocky, and don’t run their mouths in the press. So, as an athlete, John Stockton and his need for privacy has always impressed me, though I know other jazz fans who thought he was stuck up and cold. I did not; however, think that I would like this book as much as I did. As a non basketball player, or enthusiast, I did wonder what this book would have to offer someone like me. I assumed Stockton would just rehash a bunch of sports triumphs and maybe give some personal insight to big games and losses and that would be that. I was SO pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the purpose of the autobiography at all. Stockton basically wanted to say a “thank you” to those who helped him become a professional basketball player and live a successful and happy life. Stockton’s book begins at the NBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the unlikely nature of his basketball career then backtracks to acknowledge his family, and other key people who helped him along the way. Stockton was born to Jack and Clem Stockton and shares the stories of his parents, their siblings, and his grandparents. He also discusses how they ended up in Spokane, Washington, where Stockton grew up in the ‘little vatican’ a highly Catholic neighborhood in the shadow of Gonzaga University. He shares engaging anecdotes of his childhood and his time in Catholic school which was very positive. The reader also learns more about Stockton’s siblings and their relationships. One of the most critical things that happen in Stockton’s childhood is when Kerry Pickett (yes, the co-author of this book) starts coaching sport’s teams. Stockton played basketball, but he really loved football and would use basketball to kill time until football season started; however, within these light hearted stories Stockton presents some real insights to his philosophy about life and how things have changed in the way we raise children and childhood athletics. Stockton is not a proponent of “everyone gets a medal for participation”. He also thinks children are too coddled in todays atmosphere… and after hearing about his bloody one-on-one games with his older brother, Steve, I see where he’s coming from. Eventually, Stockton moves to his high school years and his time at Gonzaga. He then speaks about his unlikely draft pick to the Utah Jazz and the following years there and relationships he built.

Basketball fans will enjoy this book because he does talk about some famous game highlights as well as interesting back stories about contract negotiations and his relationships with other teammates and the Jazz organization. Non basketball fans will appreciate the life insights and the questions that Stockton asks. He speaks about his time as a Catholic in a predominantly Mormon state. He speaks about his greatest achievement, fatherhood. He also talks about his wife and parents in a very tender, but protected way. He visits the changing nature of sports and how small markets can compete with larger markets. Stockton also acknowledges mistakes along the way and things he might have done differently and better. He does share lessons learned and gives a glimpse into what his life looks like now. Overall, this was a great read. It is kind of an underdog story, as on paper, a shortish (for the NBA) white guy from Spokane doesn’t seem like your typical NBA Hall-of-fame player, but Stockton doesn’t ever feel like an underdog. In the end, this book is a wonderful love letter, and tribute, to people who influenced his journey.

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The Blooding: The Dramatic True Story of the First Murder Case Solved by Genetic “Fingerprinting”

by Joseph Wambaugh

The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh

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by Stan Lee and Stuart Moore

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Assisted: An Autobiography

by John Stockton with Kerry L. Pickett

Assisted an autobiography by John Stockton

Full disclosure. I care less than not at all about professional sports. Well, perhaps that isn’t entirely accurate. I am an only girl, raised with boys who LOVE sports. Though football is the big one in my family, all other sports are also welcomed. And local teams… well, mostly they love the local teams. I am from Utah and was a teenager in the glory days of the Utah Jazz when Stockton and Malone were making playoffs left and right and losing championships to the Chicago Bulls. Read More »

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by Graeme Simsion

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