John Stockton “ruined” Steve Kerr’s chance to play in Gonzaga

Photo: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press 1998

John Stockton was a really competitive guy, with Steve Kerr knowing that first-hand. Kerr said on a recent interview on Scorebook Live Today podcast that John Stockton was the main reason he never got the chance to play in Gonzaga.

Stockton didn’t hold back against Kerr that day scoring at-will and dominating the game. The Hall of Famer was preparing himself for the NBA during that period, as he finished his senior year in Gonzaga

Here’s the story as told by Kerr, via NBC Sports:

“So they were recruiting me my senior year. And I didn’t have any offers in the middle of my senior year, but I was getting some interest,” Kerr explained. “Gonzaga sent me a letter, made a couple calls and they said, ‘Hey, we want you to come on a visit when the season’s over.’ And I said, ‘Great.’ I was excited. It was my first visit anywhere.

“They said, ‘Just bring your stuff – you can play when you’re up here.’ I said, ‘Perfect.’ And I go up and see the campus, see the locker room, meet the coaches – all that stuff. And they said, ‘Hey, our guys are going to play pickup. You should go join them.’ I said, ‘Perfect.’

“Put my shoes on. I joined the pickup game. And I’m being guarded by a guy named John Stockton (laughter). He had just finished his senior season. He was getting ready for the draft. I’m a senior in high school. And I knew who he was because I was a basketball fan, and growing up on the West Coast I had heard of him. But it was a different time back then. You didn’t have all the games on TV and everything. So, I didn’t know that much about him.

“John proceeded to wipe the floor with me. He stole the ball from me, he scored on me at will. It was a total embarrassment. They basically took me into the office and they said, ‘You know, we’re, we’re going to go in a different direction (laughter).’ So I always blamed John Stockton for ruining my future at Gonzaga.”