Leading the league in scoring or assists are two of the most difficult things to achieve in the NBA. But achieving both during the course of a player’s career is almost impossible. That is why only 6 players have ever done it in NBA history, and it is expected that only a few players have a chance of ever dreaming of achieving this feat.
LeBron James, at 35 years of age, became the last player to do this, but who does he join in the elite company? Here are the players to have ever achieved this feat, sorted in order of appearance.
7. Oscar Robertson
Scoring Title: 1968
Assist Title: 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969
Oscar Robertson was the greatest stat-sheet stuffer at the point guard position ever. Oscar Robertson was the first player to ever average a triple-double in a single season, and he was also one of the greatest ever talents to pick up a basketball. To many who watched Oscar Robertson, he is easily a top-10 player of all-time. Oscar won a whopping 6 assist titles in his NBA career, but he became the first player to ever lead the league in assists and scoring by the 1968 season.
Robertson led the NBA in scoring in 1968 by averaging 29.2 PPG and also led the league in assists with 9.7 APG. Oscar’s greatest playmaking season came in 1965, where he averaged 11.5 APG. Oscar was 6’5” and 2015 lbs and had incredible technical ability in scoring the ball around the basket and setting up his teammates. It took only four years before another player joined him in achieving this feat.
6. Jerry West
Scoring Title: 1970
Assist Title: 1972
Jerry West, the NBA’s logo, managed to be the second player to ever win a scoring title and assist title after Oscar Robertson. West is an all-time great player and Lakers legend who is easily a top-4 shooting guard in NBA history. After Oscar stuffed the stat sheets for so long, no one thought that another guard would ever repeat his achievement.
But West led the NBA in scoring in 1970 by averaging 31.2 PPG and led the NBA in assists in 1972 with an average of 9.7 APG. West was known as a scorer and shooter, averaging 27.0 PPG on 47.4% shooting over his career, but his playmaking was just as good. West could not be defended one on one, and if he had breathing room to get off a jumper, it was a done deal that the ball was swishing through the net. Only one year later, a third player joined West and Oscar in leading the league in scoring and assists.
5. Nate Archibald
Scoring Title: 1973
Assist Title: 1973
Nate “Tiny” Archibald did the unthinkable in 1973, by leading the league in both assists and scoring. In only his 3rd NBA season, a 24-year old Archibald played 46.0 MPG en route to averaging 34.0 PPG and 11.4 APG for the Kansas City-Omaha Kings. Archibald was only a 6’1” point guard but had an abundance of skills and athleticism in his small frame.
Nate Archibald was the third player to ever accomplish the feat of leading the league in assists and scoring, which places him in an elite company. Archibald is a Hall of Famer who had a great career which also included a season where he averaged 26.5 PPG and 6.8 APG in 1975, but his 1973 season was his best one yet and also one of the best seasons ever by a player.
4. Russell Westbrook
Scoring Title: 2015, 2017
Assist Title: 2018, 2019
For the first time since 1973, Russell Westbrook managed to win an assist and scoring title to place him in elite company. Westbrook had scoring titles in 2015 and 2017, but he would not join Robertson, West, and Archibald until 2018 when he won his first scoring title. Westbrook is the best stat-sheet stuffer at the guard position since Oscar Robertson, as he could dominate the game on offense thanks to his incredible athleticism and talent.
Westbrook took advantage of Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder and took complete control of the Thunder offense, winning a scoring title and 2 assist titles as the primary ballhandler. Westbrook takes a ton of criticism for being a selfish stat-chaser, but that is unfair considering that he plays harder than anyone on the court because he wants to win. Westbrook was only the 4th player to ever accomplish this feat until his former teammate, James Harden, accomplished it in 2018 as well.
3. James Harden
Scoring Title: 2018, 2019, 2020
Assist Title: 2017
James Harden might be the greatest isolation player in NBA history. Whether it's by scoring or assisting the basketball, Harden always gets a bucket for his team when defended by one opponent. Harden has 3 scoring titles and also won the assist title in 2017 as a member of the Houston Rockets. It is very fitting that he managed to win his scoring title in 2018 as that allowed himself and Russell Westbrook to be the 4th and 5th players to win a scoring and assist title.
Harden is an incredible offensive player because he can score or get an assist whenever he wants. Harden's 3 straight scoring titles came in averages of 30.4 PPG, 36.1 PPG, 34.3 PPG for 3 straight years, although that streak might come to an end this season since he plays in Brooklyn alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Harden was the last player to ever accomplish the feat of winning a scoring and assist title until The King, LeBron James, joined them in 2020.
2. Wilt Chamberlain
Scoring title: 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
Assist Title: 1968
Whenever you see an All-Time NBA record, you know Wilt Chamberlain will be part of the list. The big man wasn't only a great scorer and rebounder but when he felt like it, he could show his skills as a great passer. Chamberlain was out of this world and his performances and stats only confirmed that.
Back in the 1967-68 NBA season, Wilt dished 8.6 assists per game, winning the assists title that campaign. The prior season, Chamberlain was criticized for only scoring and rebounding, with people calling him "selfish" and this was his response. To make things more interesting, he led the league for an entire season in points, rebounds and assists.
1. LeBron James
Scoring Title: 2008
Assist Title: 2020
LeBron James just keeps on making history. It took him 17 years, but James led the league in assists for the first time in his career (10.2 APG in 2020. James was the best playmaker for the Los Angeles Lakers while his teammate Anthony Davis (26.1 PPG) led the team in scoring. LeBron, despite playing the small forward position his entire career, played point guard last year and did it better than anyone else.
LeBron's scoring title in 2008 came with a 30.0 PPG average, ahead of second-placed Kobe Bryant (28.3 PPG). LeBron was only 23 years old at the time but his scoring for the Cleveland Cavaliers was on another level. James only has one scoring title to his name but his 2020 season made him one of six players to ever have scoring and assist titles to his name. LeBron’s longevity is truly incredible, and this is yet another accolade that places him on the Mt. Rushmore of great basketball players.