LeBron James may be on his way to becoming one of the most celebrated players in NBA history, chasing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record. James ranked seventh all-time in assists this season. He soon overtook Magic Johnson, the man who recruited him to the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving him just outside the top five.
Luckily for James, reaching 5th place virtually guaranteed him a 4th place finish. Former No. 5 Mark Jackson had 10,334 assists and former No. 4 Steve Nash had 10,335 assists. James recorded his 10,336th assist tonight on Thomas’ Bryant dunk in the fourth quarter, passing both of them to move him to fourth on the all-time assists rankings.
In addition to assists, James made more history against the Knicks on Tuesday. He finished the night with 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his first triple-double of the season. In the process, he became the fourth oldest player in history to record a triple-double, after Elvin Hayes in 1984, Tim Duncan in 2014 and Karl Malone in 2003. James had 106 all-time triple-doubles, passing Jason Kidd for his fourth place.・Triple-double is only one time.
James still has a long way to go to break into the top three assists all-time. That slot is held by his contemporary and close friend Chris Paul. Paul is an active player, so we don’t know how many assists he will retire. Both trail his No. 2 Kidd, a former Lakers assistant close to James, with his 12,091. Both might get there eventually, but that’s probably the end of their climb. John Stockton has 15,806, the NBA’s all-time assists tally. The gap between him and the No. 2 Kidd is greater than the gap between him and No. 12 Andre Miller with his 8,524.
At the end of the day, James is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and has a real chance of finishing second in assists. He could hit that first mark within the next two weeks. The assist could take several more years. Despite entering his 20th season, James, 38, is showing no signs of slowing down. He had just been named his 19th All-Star, his starter, and was the top vote-getter for the year. Yeah he still has a lot of basketballs ahead of him. That means there are plenty of records he can still break.