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Lakers News: Jason Kidd Hopes LeBron James Passes Him on All-Time Assist List

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2020

EL SEGUNDO, CA - DECEMBER 21: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to Jason Kidd during all access practice on December 21, 2019 at UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

LeBron James is eighth all-time in assists (9,213), but Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd—second all-time in assists with 12,091—believes the superstar forward can one day surpass him. 

"I'm all for it. That means guys are making shots," he told Mark Medina of USA Today. "That's why I hope I'm in play."

James trails Kidd by 2,878 assists, but catching him is feasible. For his career, he's averaged 7.4 assists per game. During an 82-game season, that averages out to 606.8 assists. So assuming James stays healthy, he could catch Kidd in four to five seasons. 

There's little doubt that James will finish in the top five. He could pass Magic Johnson—fifth all time with 10,141 assists—as soon as next year, though it's more likely he'll surpass him in the 2021-22 campaign. 

There's also the question of how much longer James will play, though the 35-year-old hasn't lost a step, averaging 25.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and a career-high 10.8 assists per game, shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from three. He is far and away the league leader in real plus-minus (10.54) and RPM wins (13.16).

One mark that is assuredly out of range, however, is John Stockton's 15,806 assists, easily the most in NBA history. 

"LeBron is going to be top four or five when it's all said and done," Chris Paul told Medina. "Knowing him, he's got the possibility to get top two or three. But he won't get one."

Kidd agreed: "As talented as he is, No. 1 is not in play."

James won't catch Stockton, but the fact that he'll likely finish top-five in assists while also averaging over 25 points per game in his career (27.1 PPG) is incredible. The top four players on the list—Stockton, Kidd, Steve Nash (10,335) and Mark Jackson (10,334)—were all traditional point guards.

James, however, has often played point forward, generally being both his team's best scorer and facilitator. This year, talented big man Anthony Davis has taken some of that scoring load. But James remains a marvel, and one of the transcendent talents in NBA history. 

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