LeBron James is now the most prolific passing forward in league history, overtaking Scottie Pippen on the leader board with this behind-the-back pass during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 102-93 win over the Detroit Pistons.
James now has 6,142 assists for his career, one of the few individual accomplishments he appears to be proud of.
“That means a tremendous amount to me,” James said. “It means a lot more than passing Allen Iverson on the scoring list in the last game, because I have always taken so much pride in my passing game. To me, the greatest rush has always been helping my teammates succeed, not succeeding myself.”
Since entering the league in 2003, James has a career average of 6.9 assists per game — that’s the highest among forwards playing at least 20,000 NBA minutes.
This season, he is clearly the league’s best “point forward,” a term coined in the 1980s by Milwaukee Bucks Coach Don Nelson when he had Paul Pressey handle point guard duties and run the offense. No forward averages more assists per game or a higher percentage of their team’s assists than James. And it is not even close.
The same is seen when you look at career assist percentage and Player Efficiency Rating, a measure of per-minute production standardized such that the league average is 15: no one comes close to King James.
“The assists thing is obviously probably one of the greatest achievements I’ve had in my career,” James said. “Obviously, winning a championship (also), for sure. Like I said, the assists for me is something that’s very cool, it’s something that’s always kind of driven me out on the basketball floor. And seeing my guys succeed and to know the category I was in with (players) like (Larry) Bird and Pippen, it’s huge.”