In ESPN Insider's "What if they played now?" series, we'll translate the statistics of stars of the 1980s and '90s to the present-day environment to give an idea how they might have stacked up to their new contemporaries. Each season's stat line is compared to league average at the time, then projected using the current NBA averages. Next up: all-time assist leader John Stockton.
If John Stockton had come along even a decade later, he would have had to make an unspeakably difficult adjustment that would have forever altered our perception of him as a player.
He would have had to wear shorts that extended to the knee.
Unfortunately, even our modern understanding of basketball analytics does not allow us to quantify how the extra material would have affected Stockton. Instead, we'll have to focus on how his game would have translated in a slightly different league setting.
In this scenario, we'll imagine that Stockton is Steve Nash's nemesis. The two players could have squared off for four years in the West Coast Conference, Nash at Santa Clara and Stockton a few years too early for the start of Gonzaga's domination of the conference, before being taken in the 1996 NBA draft. Like Nash, Stockton would now be winding down a Hall of Fame career. What might his stats look like?