Atlanta Hawks: 3 legends for Sharife Cooper to study

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks) (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images) /

Legends for Atlanta Hawks rookie Sharife Cooper to study No. 2) John Stockton

Who better for a young point guard to study than arguably the best point guard to ever play the game. John Stockton was only 6’1″ and 170 lbs and yet he was named to five All-Defensive teams, led the league in steals twice, and in assists nine times.

His Hall of Fame career included being a ten-time All-Star and also being named to 11 different All-NBA teams. He did all of this during the time the NBA was trying to get bigger in every position, point guard included. He matched up against Magic Johnson on a regular basis.

Where Cooper can learn from Stockton is firstly his defense. Stockton was incredibly strong given his frame and he was able to use his basketball IQ to defend the man or the passing lane. Basketball is a game of size, but as Chris Paul is able to show the league, being 6’0″ is not a huge liability.

The other area where Cooper can learn from Stockton is his pace management. He was one of the best in the game in speeding the game up or slowing it down depending on what his team needed. While he was obviously a good passer, he also understood who had the best shot on the possession and when to get the ball over to him.