We never saw it coming, but John Stockton did.
“No, I’m not surprised,” Stockton said when asked about the sudden return of players wearing shorter shorts. “It feels better. It just makes more sense. I never understood why guys started wearing longer shorts in the first place.
“Besides, everything comes back around eventually anyway.”
Stockton, the NBA Hall of Famer, inarguably king of the pick-and-roll and famous wearer of very short basketball shorts, was at the DICK’S High School Nationals as an assistant coach for the girls basketball team from Gonzaga Prep, and he was answering questions about coaching girls after sending his entire career around the men’s game.
He called his time on the bench with the Gonzaga Prep girls “one of the greatest experiences of my life,” (which is saying something), and said that it was the Bullpups’ aggressive drive to learn that made the team special.
“I don’t know if coaching girls is always like this, but this group has been amazing,” Stockton said. “They’ve been completely open to coaching and they all really want to learn. And they aren’t afraid to put the hard work in to get better.”
As much as coaching the team may have called to him, its clear that Stockton’s relationship with his daughter, Gonzaga-bound guard Laura, was a major factor in his decision to join the coaching staff. There’s no question he’s been thrilled with that decision, and that the pair have been able to avoid the sense of antagonism that can sometimes emerge when a parent coaches a child.
“(Laura) is really special,” Stockton said. “Obviously I’m going to say that as a proud Dad, but she really is. She’s a special player, she’s a special person. And we’ve been able to do a lot of things together, a lot of memories on the court, a lot of long car trips to little towns in Washington. It’s been great.”