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With 1:34 remaining in the second quarter of the Suns vs Pelicans game, Chris Paul found Jae Crowder for a three. A standard play for the Suns, but not just another assist for Paul. It was the assist No.10,336 for the seasoned playmaker, the assist that put Chris Paul in sole possession of third place on career assists list, pushing him past Steve Nash, one of the biggest Suns legends.
The playmaker would finish the game with season-high 18 assists, but that was obviously not in focus after the game. By taking third place on career assists list, Chris Paul cemented his place in NBA history even further, although that place was already cemented before. For example, Paul became the first player in league’s history with 20,000 points and 10,000 assists earlier this season!
The Last Floor General – Will We See Others like Chris Paul?
With all these records being broken, it’s clear that the time is fast approaching when we will get to look back at Chris Paul and his career from a different perspective. For now, Paul is still very much active and he is one of the rare true playmakers in NBA right now. The game is changing and the pick-and-roll masters like Paul are hard to find in a time when three-point shooting is the primary offensive weapon for most teams.
If we look at that list, the career assists list, we will only see three other active players in the Top 25 – James, Westbrook, and Rondo. Of the three, only Rondo can be considered as “floor general” in the same vain as Chris Paul. And of the younger generation, perhaps only Ja Morrant and LaMelo Ball could find their way into the same conversation, although they also have a different style, focused on scoring first.
In any case, Chris Paul remains the living and playing example of the classic point-guard, a giant in a small frame whose tenacity on both ends of the court made his long-lasting career so impressive despite the lack of rings or major individual awards. Paul already claimed his place in history, as we’ve seen when the NBA announced the league’s 75th Anniversary Team a couple of weeks ago.
Can Chris Paul Reach the Top of the Career Assists List?
While Paul is not done and he probably still has a few years left in his tank, it’s hard to see him claiming the top spot on the career assists list. Even reaching the No.2 spot on the list would be a major accomplishment since Jason Kidd is at 12,096 assists, which is a difference of about 1,500 assists between him and Paul.
Meanwhile, John Stockton is sitting at the top, alone and far away with his 15,806 assists – too far for Paul to even think about reaching him. Perhaps, if the injuries weren’t an undeniable part of Paul’s career, he might’ve had a chance. But even though Stockton will remain on top of that mountain for the foreseeable future, those NBA fans who had the privilege of seeing Chris Paul at work will always put him on the shortlist for the best playmaker in NBA’s history.