The New Zealand Breakers came away from Melbourne with a nail-biting 98-92 overtime victory, but it has cost them their starting point guard.
Import Ben Woodside ruptured his plantar fascia in in the game’s closing moments and faces at least two months on the sideline.
The Breakers have made quick moves, however, many fans excited about his replacement being David Stockton, the son of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton. The 25-year-old has reportedly signed as a replacement for Woodside for the remainder of the season.
Bleacher Report’s David Pick, a basketball reporter based out of Israel, broke the news.
“The deal has officially been signed,” stated Pick.
“He’s supposed to be leaving Croatia either today or tomorrow. I assume by the weekend he’ll be in New Zealand.”
Breakers General Manager Dillon Boucher confirmed they have been “in conversations with a player, but nothing is finalised”.
David is one of Utah Jazz legend John Stockton’s six sons. Stockton played 19 seasons in the NBA and retired as the league’s all-time leader in steals (3,265) and assists (15,806). He was a member of the original 1992 USA Olympic ‘Dream Team’ and is revered as one of the greatest point guards of all-time.
The Breakers had to lure Stockton away from his current deal with Cedevita Zagreb in Croatia’s top professional league where he was averaging 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.2 assist and 3.0 steals.
The 180cm point guard appeared in only five games for Zagreb, but rumours of late match payments may have factored into his decision to head for the land of the long white cloud.
In 2015-16 Stockton spent time in the NBA’s D-League where he averaged 18.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 7.2apg and 1.0spg. He was able to tie an NBL record during that stretch when he had 22 assists in one game.
David briefly played for the Sacramento Kings in the NBA in 2014-15 where he averaged 2.7 points and 3 assists over three games. His best game was 5 point, 7 assist performance in 20 minutes when the Kings faced a “Kobe-Less” LA Lakers squad.
The Breakers always wanted a pass first point guard to complement the team’s talented roster of shooters which includes former NBL MVP Kirk Penney and Corey Webster, Rob Loe and Thomas Abercrombie, all members of the New Zealand National team.
“We will try to replace as best we can regarding attributes,” he said. “It’s already going to be a disruption. If you bring in a guy who’s going to want 15 shots a game that would possibly disrupt the group too much.” said Breakers coach Paul Henare
Being the son of arguably the greatest passer in NBA history would suggest the Breakers are getting exactly what they were after.
David was also a talented passer on the gridiron as well quarterbacking his high school football team as senior.
David has often spoken to media about being the son of an NBA legend.
“Just seeing how he carried himself on the court, the decisions he made on a daily basis, realising who needs the ball, where they need it, taking care of it and not turning it over. As a point guard, I feel like IQ is the most important thing you can have.” he told Basketball Insiders.
“[He also taught me] the attitude you have to play with as a smaller guy. Nothing is easy.”
It is unlikely Stockton will be cleared in time for the team’s double header this weekend as they take on the Cairns Taipans at Vector on Friday night and then fly out to Perth for a Sunday matchup against the defending champs.
The Breakers currently sit third (4-3) on the NBL ladder.