Los Angeles Lakers point guard, LeBron James climbed up the all-time assists leader board on Monday night.
The Akron, Ohio native dished out 8 asssists in the 128-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers and moved up to eighth on the NBA’s all-time assists leaderboard catching up with Detroit Pistons Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.
Thomas, a two-time NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP and 12 time NBA All-Star thinks the world of James.
“LeBron James has made our game better,” Thomas told me via text message this morning.
“I am truly happy for him! He is a gifted passer and scorer, a very rare combination to see in a player. I hope he continues to raise the bar.”
Thomas was the second pick in the 1981 NBA Draft out of Indiana. He won an NCAA Championship under legendary coach Bob Knight. Thomas averaged 19.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game as a key member of the Detroit Pistons during their Bad Boy era of basketball.
LeBron James thinks the world of Isiah Thomas: “One of the best point guards this game has ever seen,” he said after Monday night’s win.
“And one of the toughest as well. Just his upbringing, coming from Chicago, doing the things he was able to do on the floor. From Indiana going to the Bad Boys in Detroit, just setting the tone for what he wanted his career to be…Anytime I’m linked with the greats, and ‘Zeke being one of those, it’s just an honor, and I think back to my childhood and where I’m from.”
LeBron James also scored 31 points and hauled in two rebounds in Monday’s win. James is currently averaging 25.5 points, 7.8 rebonds and 10.7 assists per game for the 33-7 Lakers team.
James now trails John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Mark Jackson, Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Chris Paul on the assists list.He bypassed Gary Payton during a 111-104 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 19.
James, 35 is chasing legacy and championships. Last decade he won two NBA Finals while teamed with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as a member of the Miami Heat. He also won a championship for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
He signed with LA during free agency in 2018 and is looking for his fourth NBA Championship with the Lakers alongside Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard. “If he can win here him and AD [Anthony Davis] I think it’ll be very big for him,” NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal told Scoop B Radio this summer.
“I just [hope] for his sake if he wins here it’ll just add a couple extra shiny pages to his book.
“The book is already done but if he can win here it’ll just put because just going into Staples Center and look at those people up there those are some very impressive names.”
The Lakers schedule will be budding quickly. LA has two home games this week playing against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday and the Houston Rockets on Saturday. LA will then take a trip to the East coast next week where they’ll go head to head with the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.