Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Played Against John Stockton... AND BEAT HIM!

For those of you who don't know who he is, John Stockton is one of the greatest basketball players to ever grace the hardwood. Probably the best player the Gonzaga Bulldogs ever had, Stockton was drafted by the Utah Jazz NBA team, in 1984. Spending his entire pro career there, he amassed an impressive list of accomplishments. He was voted one of the NBA's all-time best 50 players, led the league in assists, was an All-Star most of his career, and alongside "The Mailman" Karl Malone, led the Jazz to consecutive trips to the NBA finals (both times barely losing to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls). He retired several years ago, and although we live close to his hometown, I lost track of what he's been up to.

Well, last night, I took my son to Laser Quest, while my wife attended a choir concert (totally not my thing, and although I offered to endure it, she said she would have a better time by herself... who am I to argue???). In case you don't know what Laser Quest is either, they're a chain of establishments where you play laser tag. You play in this maze-like arena, equipped with a laser gun and sensors. As you tag other players (and get tagged yourself), the computer keeps track of everyone's scores. At the end, you get to see how well you did. It's great exercise and way less painful than paintball.

Anyway, so we played one game, and as we got in line for the second, I spotted him. John Stockton himself was there, with his wife and kids. I suspect it was their first visit. I don't do well talking to strangers, much less famous strangers, so I was content to just glance over at him once in a while, and not ask for a picture, autograph, or say anything stupid, like "Wow, you're one of my favorite players!"

When it was over, I paid attention to see what his callsign was, and although I was disappointed that we apparently never tagged each other, we were both in the top half of the scores, with me edging him out by a few points. I guess I'll have to be content that even though I did not have the guts to chat with him, I can claim that I was able to best him at something... although if it was a one-on-one game of hoops, he would have mopped the floor with me!


Great Googly Moogly! said...

"...who am I to argue???"

Man...if only Mrs. Moogly was as accomodating! :-)

Sounds like a lot of fun. How tall would you say he really is?


Greg said...

He and I were the tallest in the laser tag game, at about 6'2", but he looked like a little kid among all the tall basketball players, when I was watching him on TV. Still, his agility and smarts more than made up for the height difference! And the phrase, "Stockton-to-Malone" was a household expression, during his years in the NBA.

Farrah said...


Believe me, I would not enjoy a concert if I had to keep thinking about Greg being bored, miserable, tortured, and the like. Choir music isn't for everyone. :-)

Honey, this post made me chuckle! I'm glad you didn't miss out on beating a basketball great!! :-)

Andrew Clarke said...

Hi Greg. It's good to see a brother in a buoyant happy frame of mind. Trust me, having had some episodes with depression I know how important it is to get a lift at times. Just to let you know I prayed again that you find the right new job at the right time. Blessings.

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Greg,

You had me going there i was thinking that you had beat him at a game of basketball, lol!
Sounds like you all had a blast!

Tamela :)

Tamela's Place said...

Thanks Greg for your recent comment at Tamela's place. Let me guess it was your wife? did i get it right lol! BTW i did reply back!

God bless you