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SACRAMENTO -- On Friday, the Kings called up point guard David Stockton from the Reno Bighorns, Sacramento’s NBA D-League affiliate.
And yes, it’s that Stockton.
David is the son of longtime Utah Jazz point guard, Hall of Famer and NBA career-assists leader John Stockton.
The younger Stockton was averaging 16.6 points and 8.2 assists per game in 31 games this season in Reno and like his dad, played at Gonzaga. But unlike his dad, David was not drafted, bypassed by every team in the 2014 Draft.
“Growing up as a Stockton...from a basketball standpoint, it was both a blessing and a curse,” Stockton said after Monday’s practice. “I got to sit in great seats every night and watch the best players in the world and really learn and...sponge it all in."
“The other aspect is when I step on the court there’s a target and no matter where you go...people want to go at you."
“For the most part I think it’s helped me though. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
With starting point guard Darren Collison headed to Los Angeles Tuesday to see a specialist for his hip flexor injury, Sacramento’s depth chart needed bolstering.
“There’s no question, we’re thin in the decision-making position of point guard,” Kings coach George Karl said after Monday’s practice.
The addition of Stockton via a 10-day contract and acquisition of Andre Miller adds depth for the Kings to go along with second year point guard Ray McCallum.
The early reviews in Sacramento are positive and they recognize the pressure of being the son of an NBA legend.
“He’s a smart player,” veteran point guard Miller commented David. “He already has the knowledge. It’s in the genetics. It comes easy to him but at the same time, everybody look at him as a small guy so that’s something that he has to deal with."
“Once you step on that court the guy across from you is going to challenge him.”
Stockton saw his first action in the NBA in the Kings 126-101 loss to the Clippers on Saturday, recording one point and one assist in seven minutes.
“Stock (David) did a good job in the fourth quarter in a blowout but he did a nice job,” Karl said.
Comparisons between father and son are inevitable.
“Reminds me so much of his Dad,” Karl added. “Makes good decisions, he can run a pick-and-roll game and he’s a good shooter. Maybe a very good shooter. Wants to orchestrate and wants to direct more than score."
“He looks like a high school guy out there but he’s feisty just like his dad.”
As you’d expect, the son and father are in touch.
“I like calling him seeing what’s up but mainly, it’s to see how the family’s doing,’ said the younger Stockton on the conversations with his dad. “But he’s definitely willing to answer any questions I have about playing at his level but that was ten years ago now and he says, ‘It’s probably changed.’”