While much has been made about LeBron James’ chase of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time scoring title, he is also set to rapidly move up the all-time assists leaderboard as well this season, starting Friday as he passed fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson for sixth all-time in assists during the fourth quarter of the team’s big win over the Bucks in Milwaukee.
No. 6 at No. 6— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 3, 2022
LeBron has passed Magic Johnson for No. 6 on the NBA’s all-time assists list. pic.twitter.com/51wSNXSzmH
After the game, James called the milestone an “honor” in his walk-off interview with Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet:
Ultimately, by the end of his career, LeBron is likely to finish as the all-time leading scorer and top-five in assists all-time. He already is the only player in the top 10 all-time in both points and assists, a testament to his truly remarkable career and a further stamp on his all-time greatness. It’s hard to truly grasp how incredible of a feat that is and is a testament to how once-in-a-generation LeBron is.
Although this is largely about recognizing LeBron’s brilliance, Magic’s 10,141 came in 906 games, over 400 fewer than LeBron. If anything, it just serves to further ask “what could have been?” when it comes to Magic.
After finishing the game against Milwaukee with 11 dimes, LeBron now sits at 10,144 career assists, a mark that is 190 behind Mark Jackson for fifth and 191 from Steve Nash for fourth. It’s hard to predict exactly when he will pass those two, but it should come this season as he’s routinely finished roughly at or over 350 assists per season, a mark that would mean he will pass them this season barring injury. Based on his career average of 7.4 assists per game, it will take roughly 25 more games to catch Jackson and Nash.
It does, however, appear rather unlikely that he moves higher than fourth on the list. Paul already is roughly 600 assists ahead of fourth and counting. He also sits about 1,000 assists behind Jason Kidd in second and a staggering amount behind John Stockton far and away in first.
These types of moments and accolades have come and gone for LeBron throughout the years but considering how high he’s getting on these lists and the names of the players he’s passing, they’re becoming more and more notable.