LeBron James has become the only player in NBA history to reach 10k points, 10k rebounds, and 10k assists. In a league of his own, there is no doubt who the greatest all-around player of all time is. Say what you will about LeBron, there is no denying that he impacts the game in every way possible.
Most pundits and fans consider James to be a natural passer and a secondary scorer because other than Magic Johnson, no player combines raw size and point guard-like skills like The King. To many, James happens to score as a direct result of his size and natural talent rather than offensive skills. Whether that is true or not can be debated, but there is no denying James is a special offensive player who can score or create for others.
LeBron James is also one of 7 players ever to record 10k career assists, joining an exclusive company as an elite playmaker. But where does LeBron rank among those players in terms of scoring? For analysts looking for an answer about LeBron’s scoring ability, here is the ranking of all 7 players who have recorded at least 10k career assists in terms of total points scored.
7. Mark Jackson - 12,489 Points, (10,334 Assists)
Mark Jackson’s name is not mentioned enough among the greatest passers ever. The 6’1” point guard was a natural playmaker, setting up his teammates for great looks anytime he brought the ball up the court. The fact that Jackson only made one All-Star Team in his career should not take away from his greatness as a playmaker.
Averaging 8.0 APG in his career, Jackson also averaged at least 8 APG 9 times in his career. Even when Mark was a consistent passer throughout his career, he was not a liability as a scorer by any means. The point guard averaged 9.6 PPG over his career, with seasons averaging at least 10 PPG 6 times. One of the best passers ever, Jackson could score the ball when he needed to.
6. Steve Nash - 17,387 Points, (10,335 Assists)
Steve Nash was a two-time MVP for a reason. The Canadian superstar is one of the greatest passers ever because he had a knack for dribbling rings around his opponents before setting up his teammates for good looks. Nash led the league in APG 5 times in his career, averaging at least 10 APG 7 times in his Hall of Fame career. Not to mention, Nash made passing the ball look effortlessly beautiful.
Nash was also a special scorer because he is one of the most accurate shooters of all time. When mentioning the best three-point shooters ever, Steve Nash’s name appears at the top. The 8-time All-Star shot a career 49.0% from the field, 42.8% from three, and 90.4% from the free-throw line. An elite marksman, very few players had the shooting gifts of Steve Nash and that is why he accumulated over 17,000 points as well as over 10,000 assists.
5. Jason Kidd - 17,529 Points, (12,091 Assists)
Jason Kidd won his only championship with the Dallas Mavericks at age 38 as a role player, but he was a superstar player in his prime. The powerful point guard is one of the best floor generals ever, consistently carrying others around him and making them better. Kidd led a decent but unspectacular New Jersey Nets team to the NBA Finals twice and was a legitimate MVP candidate in his prime. Kidd had a first-ballot Hall of Fame career which included 10 All-Star appearances, 5 assist titles, and 9 All-Defensive Teams.
An elite two-way player, Kidd was excellent at shutting down opposing point guards and controlling the pace of the offense. Known as Mr. Triple-Double, Kidd was also effective at rebounding the ball at a high level. One aspect of his game goes underrated and that is his scoring ability. The Hall of Famer was forced to develop a three-point shot and did a great job of hitting them consistently as he grew older. Kidd ranks 12th all-time in threes made, and his ability to be effective when he lost his athleticism was a big reason he surpassed the likes of Steve Nash as a scorer.
4. Magic Johnson - 17,707 Points, (10,141 Assists)
We all know who Magic Johnson is, the greatest point guard ever. Magic changed the game as a 6’9” point guard with a powerful frame and elite handles, and there hasn’t been a better floor general since the legendary Lakers star dominated the game. Johnson led the league in assists 4 times and holds a career average of 11.2 APG. The legendary Lakers point guard was the driving force behind the “Showtime” Lakers that dominated the league in the 80s.
But Magic was a very capable scorer, even if he was not the best outside shooter. At 6’9”, Magic automatically had a size advantage on his opponents and would often punish them in the post. Armed with a nice hook shot, Magic was great at driving the lane and grabbing two points with a sweeping hook. He was also solid in the post and could hit outside shots when necessary. An offensive superstar with arguably the highest basketball IQ ever, Magic had a career field goal percentage of 52.0% and that helped him score almost 18k points.
3. John Stockton - 19,711 Points, (15,806 Assists)
John Stockton is the all-time leader in assists, and that was because he had Karl Malone by his side. Malone is one of the most dominant scorers ever and was automatic whenever he had an open look from mid-range or around the basket. The Mailman was a special offensive player and ranks 2nd all-time in point scored at this moment of time. As great as Malone was as a scorer, it was Stockton’s assist that gave him all those points.
Stockton held a career average of 10.5 APG and led the NBA in assists a whopping 9 times. While Magic earns credit for being the greatest leader ever, Stockton might have the case for being the greatest pure playmaker ever. Even if he was a terrific passer, Stockton was also an elite shooter with shooting splits of 51.5%, 38.4%, and 82.6%. A consistent outside shooter, Stockton accumulated over 19,000 points by spacing the floor and also cutting to the rim for easy looks.
2. Chris Paul - 20,844 Points, (10,894 Assists)
One of the most talented point guards of all time, Chris Paul keeps adding to his Hall of Fame resume. He made his first NBA Finals appearance last year and could be in the mix for his first championship when he returns. A 6’0” point guard, Paul needed toughness and leadership to make up for his lack of size and he certainly provided that. A natural-born leader with supreme passing skills, CP3 is also an elite scorer.
Paul could cause damage from anywhere on the court, and he should have taken more shots considering his talent. CP3 is always unselfish with the ball and has always preferred for others to lead the team in scoring. But there is no doubt he has the ability of a number one option, averaging a career 18.2 PPG on 47.3% from the field, 37.0% from three, and 87.2% from the free-throw line.
1. LeBron James - 36,854 Points, (10,011 Assists)
LeBron James is the greatest scorer for a player with at least 10k assists, and it isn’t even close. The King has over 16k more points than Chris Paul, an incredible testament to his greatness as an offensive player. James can get to the rim anytime he wants, and that has been why he has accumulated so many points over his illustrious career. A 6’9” locomotive that weighs 260 lbs, LeBron James is a forward with the build of Karl Malone mixed with the explosiveness of a guard.
Scoring over 36k points and having over 10k assists is something we will likely never see again because it will be hard for any superstar to play long enough to achieve that. The only current player that could come to mind is Giannis Antetokounmpo because he has the size to score the ball very easily and also the playmaking ability to average 6 APG for the rest of his career. But at age 27, Giannis has a very long ladder to climb to reach LeBron. James is a rarity in terms of keeping his body in elite shape, and he is blessed without having suffered any major injuries. Out of all the natural playmakers in NBA history, there is no doubt LeBron James is the greatest scorer ever.