Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul joins John Stockton and Jason Kidd with over 11,000 regular season assists each
Even as he reaches the twilight of his NBA Career, Phoenix PG Paul was delighted to have passed such a milestone, even happier to have done it on his former home court of the Clippers
“I’ve been fortunate to play for a while now with a lot of great shooters, great players in general,’’ he said to ESPN after the game, ticking off such names as David West, Peja Stojakovic and now Booker. “I’m privileged.’’
However Paul goes one better than Stockton and Kidd as the only player in NBA history who has scored over 20,000 points and made more than 10,000 assists. And he is still going. Whilst Paul is used sparingly these days, he is still racking up the numbers.
He's got some distance to go if he is to pass Jason Kidd initially (12091) and then of course the mark of John Stockton (15806) - which frankly is almost certainly never gong to be beaten.
And even if a player does beat Stockton's incredible tally, they won't do it with one team, as John did with Utah. A genuine, and very rare, one team man.
As Paul approaches his 38th birthday he is in his 3rd season at the Suns and has led them to the best record of any NBA team since his arrival - no team has won more regular season and playoff games since Paul joined from Oklahoma.
Can Paul eek out enough games before he hangs up his pumps to pass 12,000? Its a tough ask, but if anyone can....Chris Paul can.
Analysing the numbers
The top 5 in the NBA Regular Season Assists table are:
|Player||Reg Season Assists|
|John Stockton||15,806 (10.5 apg)|
|Jason Kidd||12,091 (8.7 apg)|
|Chris Paul*||11,009 (9.5 apg)|
|Steve Nash||10,335 (8.5 apg)|
|Mark Jackson||10,334 (9.5 apg)|
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Distribution of Assists per Season
An interesting thing to note from the chart above is the slow start that Steve Nash made to his Assists Career. In fact in his first four NBA Seasons, Nash playing for Phoenix (2 seasons, and then Dallas at the start of his 6-season stay) only mustered 891 Assists.
Compare this to the first 4 seasons for the other Top 5ers and we see that with a better start, Nash could well be second overall.
Stockton (4 x Jazz): 2823
Kidd (Mavericks x 2.5, Suns x 1.5): 2631
Paul (New Orleans x 4): 2966
Nash (Suns x 2, Mavericks x 2): 891
Jackson (Knicks x 4): 2543
So Nash's 891 puts him over 2000 assists behind Chris Paul's first-4-season effort.
John Stockton - The Amazing One Team Man
Its amazing that Stockton played his whole career for one team, a full 19 years spent in Utah. What's even more amazing is that the Jazz made the playoffs in every single one of those 19 seasons. Stockton has never missed out on the playoffs.
Lets take a look at our 5 top guys and where they did their assisting.
|New Jersey Nets||6.5||4,620|
|New York Knicks||1||249|
|New Orleans/Oklahoma Hornets||6||4,228|
|Los Angeles Clippers||6||4,023|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||1||472|
|Los Angeles Lakers||2||419|
|New York Knicks||6.5||4,005|
|Los Angeles Clippers||2||1,402|