Yesterday the Clippers beat the Lakers in a manner that hadn’t ever been done in the team’s history. Not only was it the biggest lost in the Lakers franchise history, but it was the largest margin of victory for the Clippers. But that wasn’t the only milestone that happened during last night’s game.
Finishing the game with 9 assists, Chris Paul surpassed Lakers absent star Kobe Bryant on the NBA’s All-Time assist list moving him to 5934 total for his career, 32nd all time.
It’s no secret that Paul is one of the best point guards this game has ever seen and this statement stands if Paul ends his NBA tenure with or without a championship(s). He’s the perfect prototype guard, excelling in everything, but his playmaking and passing ability is what sets him apart from the competition. Outside of Rajon Rondo and Ricky Rubio, there aren’t many point guards that can command an offense like Paul does night in and night out.
Had it not been for the shoulder injury Paul suffered in early January, he would have jumped Bryant on this list some time ago, but with the way he and his team Paul has a chance to catch a few of those ahead of him on the list before the year’s end. On the season Paul is averaging exactly 11 assists per game, but it’s a bit crazy to assume he’ll dish out 11 dimes a night in every game from now until the end of the regular season. But if Paul can average at least 9 assists for the remaining 18 games of the season, 162 assists total, Paul will surpass the likes of Sam Cassell (he’s five up on Paul now, so it’s safe to assume Paul will be 31st by tomorrow night) and Mookie Blaylock leaving Paul at 20th all-time.
If Paul averages 10 assists for the remainder of the season he’ll end the season with 6114 career assists, enough to place him 28th all-time passing Baron Davis and tying Boston Celtics legend John Havlicek. If Paul averages 11 assists, he’ll end the season ranked 27th all-time passing Clyde Drexler.
For Paul to end his career as the NBA’s all-time leading assist getter, he’d have to collect around 9000 more assists to catch hall of fame guard John Stockton, a record that many consider the hardest record to beat.
A simpler task for Paul would be becoming the Clippers all-time assists getter. He is currently fourth all-time with 1706 behind the likes of Norm Nixon, Gary Grant and Randy Smith.