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The Reluctant Hero

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The Delta Center will be filled tomorrow evening with grateful fans anxious to honor John Stockton.

They ought to raise the rafters!

In keeping with his long established persona, the reluctant hero would prefer to fade quietly with his family into the obscurity of middle America. Yet, he is deserving of every plaudit directed his way.

At a convoluted time when untried teenagers get mega-million dollar shoe deals based solely on potential, Stockton stands out as an icon for hard work and keeping priorities in balance. Although identified as one of “50 Greatest Players in NBA History,” Stock would have been happy playing the game wearing the same sneakers he came into the league with.

Forget the glitter! Trash the hype! And no need for trendy shorts! With basketball in hand, he always focused on his team and his job on the court. He dished out assists in numbers too rarified to be broken in this selfish age of one-on-one stardom. No chest-thumping antics after a highlight play for Stockton. He’d focus instead on the moment at hand . . . thereby always adding to his all-time record for steals.

In reality, tomorrow’s “Salute to John Stockton” is more for the benefit of his fans than for him. In KSL’s view, such modesty in a modern sports hero is an endearing value worth cheering.

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