Great individual play is nice for the fans to see, but basketball is a team game. If that means passing to your teammate in a better position to score than yourself, then that’s what you should do. Not every player follows that rule, but these are the outstanding ones who did. Here are the all-time leaders in the NBA for assists.
Magic Johnson – 10,141
Magic Johnson could do it all, and if he hadn’t missed several seasons in his prime he would have been higher on this list. Johnson completed 10,141 assists during his playing career, earning five NBA Championships in the process. He could also score, and Johnson finished playing with a total of 17,707 points.
Mark Jackson – 10,334
Mark Jackson can consider himself unlucky not to be in the Hall of Fame, especially as he sits as the fourth highest on the NBA career assists leaderboard. He had a playing career with a wide range of teams including the Knicks, Raptors, Rockets, and Clippers. Just like his Hall of Fame status, Jackson was constantly overlooked during his playing career and only made the All-Star roster once in over 15 years as a player. He averaged 8.0 assists per game and always got his teams to the playoffs, but never managed to pick up a championship ring.
Steve Nash – 10,335
Steve Nash proved to be an invaluable player in every team he played for. He was twice the league MVP while playing for the Suns and an eight-time All-Star player. Nash never won an NBA Championship, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a Hall of Famer in September 2018. He is regarded as one of the best ever players not to win a championship ring.
Jason Kidd – 12,091
Jason Kidd was always a reliable player who would get whatever team he played for points thanks to his vision. After finally winning the championship with the Mavericks he retired with the Knicks, completing a total of 12,091 career assists. From 1997 to 2013 Kidd always made it to the playoffs, no matter which team he was playing for. After retiring from playing Kidd became a coach, taking over first at the Brooklyn Nets before overseeing the Bucks.
John Stockton – 15,806
If there was one thing you could bet the house on in basketball, it would be John Stockton getting over 10 assists in a game. The all-time assists leader finished his career with 15,806 in total while playing 19 years with the Utah Jazz. He was the league assist leader in nine different seasons and was a big part of making the Jazz competitive. Unfortunately, he was never able to get a championship ring wrapped around his finger, which must be the only regret of his career.
The point guards are the guys who can see the plays unfold before anyone else, so it’s no surprise all of these guys played in that position. These players found the pass to unlock defenses time and time again, helping them bag record levels of assists.