Chris Paul Joins Elite Group by Reaching 6,000 Assists in 9 Seasons

Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2014

Mar 22, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) throws his 6,000th career assist past Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings (7) during the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Los Angeles Clippers floor general Chris Paul can add another milestone to his mountain of accolades.

At the end of the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, CP3 dished the 6,000th assist of his career. He's dropped at least 500 dimes in eight of his first nine seasons, allowing him to swiftly eclipse this lofty mark.

He's in rare company, as only six other players in NBA history have doled out that many assists within their first nine years in the Association:

Those other half-dozen players comprise an elite group of playmakers. It's pretty much a who's who of Hall of Fame point guards: Jason Kidd, John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Norm Nixon and Oscar Robertson (per Eric Patten of 

Patten also noted that Paul, Stockton and Thomas are the only players to reach the 6,000 mark before their 29th birthday.

Paul's 6,000th dime came on a pick-and-pop with none other than Blake Griffin, his star companion who's been on the receiving end of countless CP3 dimes.

After the accomplishment, Paul was congratulated by Isiah Thomas, as the former Pistons champion was on hand at the Palace at Auburn Hills.

While CP3 could climb pretty high on the all-time assists leaderboard if he wanted to, he may not stick around long enough to challenge the likes of Stockton (15,806 total) and Kidd (12,091).

In an HBO Real Sports interview with Mary Carillo, Paul said "I could honestly see myself maybe stopping a little early or premature just because I hate to miss anything with my kids."

However, he's still in his 20s, so he's probably not walking away for a few more seasons. He's 30th all-time among assists leaders right now, but with four or five more seasons of healthy production, he could land in the top 10 and flirt with the 9,000 mark.

My official prediction? He lands eighth on the list, barely leapfrogging Gary Payton's 8,966.

Paul is certainly this generation's version of the pure, pass-first point guard. He makes the NBA better every time he steps on the floor, and we hope he keeps wheeling and dealing for another nine years.


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