If you followed the NBA throughout the ’90s, you probably have vivid memories of the Salt Lake City point guard John Stockton. Although the ten-time All-Star and Hall of Famer wasn’t able to secure a championship ring (thanks Michael), he left an undeniable mark on the league.
His Jazz teammate Karl Malone had earned the moniker of “The Mailman”, but in retrospect, the name may have been more fitting for Stockton himself. Known for his incredible offensive awareness and passing, there haven’t been many players since him with the ability to create plays and scoring opportunities for their team. On February 1, 1995, Stockton set the all-time NBA assists record by tallying dish number 9,922. The player he dethroned from the top spot? None other than legend Magic Johnson.
Eighteen years later to the day, Stockton’s career assist total remains the best of all time at 15,806. His defensive accomplishments can’t be dismissed either, as he holds the NBA record for career steals at 3,256 (30% more than second placed Jason Kidd).
Throughout his lengthy career, Stockton wore mostly Nike-branded sneakers. In 1995, his footwear of choice was the Nike Air Up Mid, a sneaker which was also worn by players like Scottie Pippen and Penny Hawdaway. With an Air Sole pocket and Phylon midsole, there weren’t too drastically different from some of today’s basketball models. The retro style also included a Dynamic Fit system, a feature which has been retooled and updated by Nike throughout the years.
Although a retro release of the Air Up (not to be confused with the Air Way Up) has yet to be announced, it seems that Nike Sportswear has been digging into the ’90s basketball vaults recently, so don’t be surprised to see these pop back up sooner than later.