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Look out, Magic Johnson: Where Lakers’ LeBron James ranks on NBA all-time assist list

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Lakers star LeBron James just keeps continuing his assault on the NBA record books.

With nine more assists, James will pass Magic Johnson to move into sixth place on the NBA’s all-time assist list. James and Johnson are two of just seven players in NBA history to reach 10,000 career assists, joining John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Steve Nash and Mark Jackson.

This will certainly be another incredible achievement for James, who is also on track to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer later this season. But could the 37-year-old climb even higher up the assist list?

Here’s a closer look at James’ impressive assist numbers.


NBA all-time assist list: LeBron James set to pass Magic Johnson

After dishing out eight assists in the Lakers’ 128-109 win over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, James has 10,133 career assists. He could match or surpass Johnson’s total of 10,141 assists on Friday against the Bucks.

Chris Paul is the only other active player in the top 10. James’ teammate, Russell Westbrook, is sitting at No. 11 behind Gary Payton.

Rank Player Assists
1. John Stockton 15,806
2. Jason Kidd 12,091
3. Chris Paul 11,071
4. Steve Nash 10,335
5. Mark Jackson 10,334
6. Magic Johnson 10,141
7. LeBron James 10,133
8. Oscar Robertson 9,887
9. Isiah Thomas 9,061
10. Gary Payton 8,966
11. Russell Westbrook 8,747
12. Andre Miller 8,524
13. Rod Strickland 7,987
14. Rajon Rondo 7,584
15. Maurice Cheeks 7,392
16. Lenny Wilkens 7,211
17. Terry Porter 7,160
18. Tim Hardaway 7,095
19. Tony Parker 7,036
20. Bob Cousy 6,955

Where could LeBron James finish on the NBA’s all-time assist list?

James averaged 7.4 assists per game and 528.7 total assists in his first 19 seasons with the Cavaliers, Heat and Lakers. He has dealt with health issues in recent years, so it may not be fair to expect the same level of availability and performance.

Let’s explore a few scenarios and assume James plays in at least 40 more games during the 2022-23 campaign. (He has averaged 55.75 games played per season since joining the Lakers in 2018.)

  • 6.0 assists in 40 games: 240 assists / 10,373 career assists
  • 6.5 assists in 40 games: 260 assists / 10,393 career assists
  • 7.0 assists in 40 games: 280 assists / 10,413 career assists
  • 7.5 assists in 40 games: 300 assists / 10,433 career assists

In all of the above scenarios, James would pass Jackson and Nash this season to claim sole possession of fourth place. Breaking into the top three would be more of a challenge, though, and catching Stockton seems like an impossible task.

The Hall of Famer is 5,673 assists ahead of James. To put that in perspective, James had 5,302 assists in the first decade of his career.

So, yeah, Stockton will probably stay on top for a long time.

The best assists of LeBron James’ career


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