John Stockton, Karl Malone Went to Zoo Together First Time They Hung Out as Utah Jazz Teammates


Karl Malone John StocktonJohn Stockton and Karl Malone were known for being painfully boring during their playing days with the Utah Jazz. This story will not dispel that perception at all.

In his new autobiography, Assisted, Stockton goes out of his way to avoid airing anyone’s dirty laundry. Consistent with his noncontroversial personality, Stockton did not set out to make a spicy “tell-all” book, but to write more of a memoir to leave for his kids.

At one point in the book, Stockton describes the first time he and Malone met up as teammates. Malone, who had just been drafted, came to Salt Lake City to visit and ended up hanging out with his new running mate. The two young men were looking for something to do in their new home.

They didn’t exactly paint the town red, as Stockton explained in an interview on

“He’s just a country kid, and we’re in Salt Lake and I’m just a year into it, so I don’t exactly have command of it myself,” Stockton told’s Lang Whitaker. “I said to him, ‘We could drive up into the mountains, that’s gorgeous. Or maybe we could … go to the zoo?’ And he said, ‘Zoo? Sounds good. Let’s go.’

“So we had a beautiful afternoon there. Pretty peaceful.”

Hogle Zoo is a lovely place, but it’s not a hotspot you’d expect a couple of rich, young professional athletes to go in their free time — unless said professional athletes are Stockton and Malone. Then it sounds just about right. Stockton strikes me as a red panda fan.

By the way, Stockton said in a separate interview with Sports Illustrated that he hand-wrote the autobiography on college-ruled notebook paper. Again, sounds about right.

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