Russell Westbrook is used to making statistical history, and on Saturday, he did so yet again as the Los Angeles Clippers faced the New York Knicks. In a close game in the third quarter, Westbrook hit Paul George with a pass that turned into an easy layup. It was the third assist of the game for the former MVP, but more importantly, it was the 9,060th assist of his NBA career. That moved him past Detroit Pistons icon Isiah Thomas for the ninth-most assists in NBA history.
The all-time assists leaderboard is unusually cluttered in a few spots. Westbrook, at No. 9, is more than 800 assists behind No. 8 Oscar Robertson. However, No. 5 Steve Nash leads Westbrook by less than 1,300 assists at 10,335. It is highly unlikely that Westbrook ascends beyond No. 5 at any point in his career, though, because No. 4 LeBron James and No. 3 Chris Paul are both active players, who continue to pad their totals as Westbrook does.
Westbrook’s ultimate placement on this leaderboard is going to depend on what sort of role he plays over the next several seasons. When Westbrook was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this season, he came off of the bench. That limited his ability to rack up numbers. He has returned to the starting lineup with the Clippers, but that experiment has thus far gone poorly. If the Clippers disappoint in the postseason, he’s unlikely to earn another starting job as a free agent next offseason.
For now, Westbrook’s goal is to win a championship with the Clippers. If he does so, he’ll surely stick around long enough to make a decent climb up this list. If not? Don’t be surprised if he sticks at No. 9 until he retires.
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Publish Date:2023-03-12 07:30:30