John Stockton reveals "quack" medical practices extended his career

John Stockton had his career extended by pretty common practices these days.
Feb 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; John Stockton is honored during halftime during the 2022 NBA
Feb 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; John Stockton is honored during halftime during the 2022 NBA / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

John Stockton remains one of the most beloved point guards in not only Utah Jazz history but in NBA history. A terrific two-way player, who really helped define an era, Stockton led the Jazz to nearly 20 years of sustained success, peaking in 1997 and 1998 when he, and Karl Malone, led the Jazz to back-to-back NBA Finals and Western Conference Championships.

From 1984 to 2003, Stockton played 82 games every year except three. That near-20-year run really highlighted his longevity and his impact on the game, but a lot of people still wonder how he was able to play 1,504 games in his career.

As it turns out, he was able to do so due to "quack" science. Speaking to former NBA player Adam Morrison on his The Perimeter with Adam Morrison podcast, fellow Gonzaga alum Stockton revealed that one of the keys to his longevity was Craig Buhler, the Jazz's chiropractor.

Stockton told Morrison (via Basketball Network) that he thought Buhler and chiropractic medicine as a whole was a "quack", saying;

"“I had a couple of people that are hugely valuable. One was Craig Buhler. He was our team chiropractor with the Jazz. Frankly, I thought he was a quack in my first two years, and he just started fixing things… I was fortunate to have him 19 years."


Apparently, stretching was a big foundation for his recovery regimen, and due to that, he was able to extend his career. While he's made headlines for the wrong reasons in recent years, it is worth noting that when Stockton was young and in the NBA, the more nuanced aspects of health and wellness that so many modern players have access to these days weren't as widely accepted by the public.

So his hesitance then was understanding.

It's ironic though that Stockton, who thought stretching and chiropractic medicine wasn't worthwhile, was able to play 82 games 15 times in his career, but modern NBA players have more access, and more understanding of modern medicine but have a hard time playing 60.