The assist is probably one of the most underrated skills in basketball. To many fans, they only focus on three-point skills and shooting skills, but what many people do not realize is that the assist move is a crucial skill that coaches look for.
What is it anyway? Assist happens when a player passes the ball to somebody, and the recipient of the ball makes a good shot. The shot must be made immediately. An assist is important because the player who passed the ball made it so that the recipient is open to make a point. If the recipient does not make it, then it is not an assist. As such, the higher the assist, the more points are made.
Let us take a look at the NBA players who have the most assists ever made in the history of the league.
1. John Stockton – 15,806
John Stockton played for the Utah Jazz from 1984 to 2003. He played a total of 1,504 games, which tells us that he averaged 10.5 assists per game.
John Stockton was part of the NBA All-Star ten times and is also a two-time inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Apart from assists, he is also the record-holder for the most steals at 3,265. Many sports enthusiasts regard John as one of the 50 greatest players of all time.
2. Jason Kidd – 12,091
Another prolific player, Jason Kidd played for several teams, including the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks. Jason also served as the Head Coach of Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks and then as Assistant Coach in the Los Angeles Lakers.
Like Stockton, Kidd was a 10-time NBA All-Star. Apart from that, he is a nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, plus a champion when Dallas Mavericks won the finals in 2011. He is also an inductee in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
3. Steve Nash – 10,335
Steve Nash is a Canadian player who played for the Phoenix Suns. He was named Most Valuable Player twice, and he was an eight-time NBA All-Star player.
Today, he serves as the Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Overall, he played 18 seasons in his career, but he never won a championship ring. Despite this, Steve carved a name for himself for his explosive assists and abilities as a point guard.
At most, Steve led the Suns as far as the Western Conference Finals back in 2005. In 2006, ESPN named him the ninth-best point guard of all time.
4. Mark Jackson – 10,334
Mark Jackson is not as popular as the others on our list, probably because he played in a different era. He was active in the NBA from 1987 to 2004, back in the days when the Chicago Bulls dominated the sport.
Mark played for several teams, including the following:
- Indiana Pacers
- New York Knicks
- Utah Jazz
- Houston Rockets
He retired from basketball, but he became a broadcast commentator for ESPN. He also worked as a Head Coach for the Golden State Warriors in 2011.
5. Magic Johnson – 10,141
The fifth-best in assist of all time is Magic Johnson, one of the best players who ever lived. Magic played for the Los Angeles Lakers his entire career and is widely considered as the best point guard of all time.
Overall, he played for 13 seasons. He is honoured as one of the 50 greatest players of all time, alongside the likes of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kareen Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain.
Magic played a total of 905 games. Below are his stats:
- 17,707 points
- 6,559 rebounds
- 10,141 assists
These numbers are not easy to achieve. As far as averages are concerned, Magic has the highest APG in the history of the league, even if he does not have the top spot for assist itself. He is the only player who averaged 12 assists per game in the NBA Finals, and he even achieved it six times. For single-game records, he holds the title for the most number of assists at 22 assists for one game only.
An assist is a critical skill that can help teams win. If you bet on sports on sites like WulkanWegas, make a mental note if a high-assist player is on your favoured team. Most of the time, the point guards are the ones that make the most assists. They are quick, and they know the positions of the other players. They seem to know which players are highly likely to make the shot, and this is why players with a high number of assists are valued.