James has been breaking all kinds of individual and league records during the 2019-20 NBA season as he is set to turn 35-years-old on Dec. 30. This latest accomplishment is just further proof of his passing acumen and basketball IQ as he slides into the top-nine all-time for total assists.
Payton, also known as ‘The Glove,’ is widely regarded as one of the best two-way point guards in NBA history. In Payton’s 17 seasons, he garnered nine All-Star appearances to go along with nine All-NBA selections. In addition, he won the 1996 Defensive Player of the Year award on top of his 8,966 career assists, which is good enough for 10th all time.
James is now at 8,970 career assists. His next milestone on the list will be passing Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas for eighth, a benchmark that sits just 91 assists away at 9,061. Given his current assist average of 10.6 a game, he’ll likely pass Thomas on Jan. 7 against Julius Randle and the New York Knicks or on Jan. 10 against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
There are a number of major milestones that James is slated to hit this season with the biggest of them all being the ability to pass Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He currently sits 353 points back of Bryant, which means he could be passing him within the next 15-20 games.
James remains the only player in NBA history to be top-10 in both points and assists, which highlights his all-around game.