But Karl Malone wasn’t the only dirty Jazz player. His teammate John Stockton had a reputation for being just as dirty. It’s just that he was smaller and smarter about it, so he got away with it more. Where Malone was dirty, Stockton got a reputation as being “scrappy” — and yes, you’re welcome to read some racial connotations into that, too.
Stockton did most of his work off camera. He set illegal screens and played dirty, physical defense, getting into the opponent physically and mentally. Turns out pick and rolls weren’t the only thing Stockton was assisting Malone on all those years.