Sports

If you thought John Stockton’s COVID opinions were wild this summer, wait till you see what he has to say now


John Stockton, exceptional point guard and fringe nutjob

John Stockton, exceptional point guard and fringe nutjob
Photo: Getty Images

Internet brain rot has claimed another public figure. John Stockton is so firm in his anti-vax and anti-mask stance that the college program he is the most famous face of, Gonzaga — a place he grew up blocks away from, where his father played football, a place from which he was No. 16 overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft and would go on to set the league’s all-time record in total assists and steals and become a Hall of Famer — is no longer allowed in the gym to watch his alma mater play.

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Gonzaga has suspended Stockton’s tickets because he will not comply with the university’s mask mandate. He confirmed this in an interview with the Spokesman-Review.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Stockton is staunchly against basic forms of protection against COVID. He was in an anti-vax documentary this summer in which he touted hours of research that has led him to the conclusion that COVID, which has killed nearly 900,000 Americans to this date, is not that serious of a disease.

In that Spokesman-Review interview he went even further into his wild COVID conspiracies than he did last year. He was asked at one point, “Is there anything else you want to say about any of this?” Stockton then went full, brain-fried-in-a-skillet-by-Illuminati-videos.

Stockton suggested that 100 vaccinated professional athletes have died. He also said that at least 20,000 people have died as a result of the vaccine, and that’s a low estimate that has been confirmed by the CDC through VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting Systems), and that there have been over a million injuries.

He doesn’t even know VAERS works. On its website, the CDC explains that VAERS alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine is a cause of death or injury. The only thing a VAERS report can confirm is that a person suffered an adverse event, and it happened after vaccination. The data is “incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable,” and also subject to biases because the data comes from people who self-report adverse reactions.

The Spokesman-Review even noted at the end of the interview, and in a second story published that same day, that Stockton’s statistics and many of the statements that he made in the interview are not based in fact in any way.

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Is it alright if I just act like John Stockton’s career never happened and Magic Johnson is still the NBA’s all-time assist leader? I know it would be hypocritical to criticize Stockton for his COVID denials and then I turn around and deny his basketball career, but I’m not saying anything dangerous, and I’ll feel better.

I never picked the Utah Jazz in NBA Jam, but seeing Stockton take this turn to the dark side is sad. He’s part of one of the most glorious eras in the history of sports, 1990s NBA basketball. A time when everyone’s shorts finally got longer, except for his and Jeff Hornacek’s, NBA Entertainment made outstanding video tapes, and the NBA on NBC theme was the soundtrack to a sports Sunday after the Super Bowl. I smile whenever I think of Shaquille O’neal shattering backboards and the occasional treat of real fistfight on the court.

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Stockton and his booty-hugging shorts were a much needed villain for that era. Sure the New York Knicks enforced their no layup rule a little too hard, but they’re still the Knicks. No other team could make a 82-79 game that much fun. The Jazz, on the other hand, were the perfect villain. They were in a market that no one outside of their state cared about, they played dirty in an annoying YMCA open gym kind of way, and gave us a group of NBA fans to ridicule whenever they claimed that Stockton was the best point guard in the league.

However, those of us that rooted against the Jazz still had respect for them. These days, we’ve known for a while now that Karl Malone is the type of despicable human being that impregnated a 13-year-old while in college, and now John Stockton sounds like a narrator on a Q’Anon theme park ride. I guess I’ll always have Antoine Carr and his shades.

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The internet has claimed another brain. Damn shame it had to be you John.

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