List of National Basketball Association annual assists leaders

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Head shot of a man, wearing a blue shirt, stands in a locker room
John Stockton won a record nine assists titles in his career.

In basketball, an assist is a pass to a teammate that directly leads to a score by field goal.[1] The National Basketball Association's (NBA) assist title is awarded to the player with the highest assists per game average in a given season. The assists title was first recognized in the 1946–47 season when statistics on assists were first compiled by the Basketball Association of America (BAA), predecessor of the NBA.[2] To qualify for the assist title, the player must appear in at least 70 games (out of 82) or have at least 400 assists. This has been the entry criteria since the 1974–75 season.[3] The assists title was originally determined by assist total through the 1968–69 season, after which assists per game was used to determine the leader instead.

John Stockton holds the all-time records for total assists (1,164) and assists per game (14.54) in a season, achieved in the 1990–91 and 1989–90 seasons, respectively.[2] Mark Jackson holds the rookie records for total assists and assists per game when he had 868 and averaged 10.6 in the 1987–88 season.[2][4] Among active players, Chris Paul had the highest season assists total (925) in the 2007–08 season and Rajon Rondo had the highest season assists average (11.70) in the 2011–12 season.

Stockton has won the most assists titles in his career, with nine. Bob Cousy won eight assists titles, while Oscar Robertson won six. Jason Kidd and Steve Nash have won five assists titles, while Kevin Porter, Magic Johnson, and Chris Paul have each won four. Rajon Rondo has won three, while Andy Phillip and Guy Rodgers are the only other players to have won the title more than once. Stockton has also won the most consecutive assists titles, with nine. Three players have won both the assists title and the NBA championship in the same season: Cousy in 1957 and from 1959 to 1960 with the Boston Celtics; Jerry West in 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers; and Johnson in 1987 with the Lakers.

Key[edit]

^ Denotes player who is still active in the NBA
* Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
dagger Denotes player who won the MVP award that year
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player had been the
assists leader up to and including that season
G Guard F Forward C Center

Assist leaders[edit]

Two basketball players go after a basketball, while another player is watching from behind
Bob Cousy (left) was the assists leader from 1953 to 1960.
Oscar Robertson led the NBA in assists six times during the 1960s
A man, wearing a jersey with a word "TEMPLE" and the number "5" written in the front, is holding a basketball while posing for a photo
Guy Rodgers was the assists leader in 1963 and 1967.
A man, wearing a jersey
Jerry West was the assists leader in 1972.
Head shot of a bald black man wearing a purple basketball jersey
Magic Johnson was the assists leader from 1983 to 1984 and from 1986 to 1987.
A white basketball player, wearing a purple jersey with a word "Phoenix" and the number "13" written in the front, dribbles the ball
Steve Nash was the assists leader from 2005 to 2007 and 2010 to 2011.
A black basketball player, wearing a blue jersey with a word "New Orleans" and the number "3" written in the front, dribbles the ball in front of another player
Chris Paul was the assists leader from 2008 to 2009 and from 2014 to 2015.
Season Player Position[a] Team Games
played
Total
assists
Assists
per game
References
1946–47 Ernie Calverley G Providence Steamrollers 59 202 3.42 [5][6]
1947–48 Howie Dallmar F Philadelphia Warriors 48 120 2.50 [5][7]
1948–49 Bob Davies* G/F Rochester Royals 60 321 5.35 [5][8]
1949–50 Dick McGuire* G New York Knicks 68 386 5.68 [5][9]
1950–51 Andy Phillip* G/F Philadelphia Warriors 66 414 6.27 [5][10]
1951–52 Andy Phillip* (2) G/F Philadelphia Warriors 66 539 8.17 [5][10]
1952–53 Bob Cousy* G Boston Celtics 71 547 7.70 [5][11]
1953–54 Bob Cousy* (2) G Boston Celtics 72 518 7.19 [5][11]
1954–55 Bob Cousy* (3) G Boston Celtics 71 557 7.85 [5][11]
1955–56 Bob Cousy* (4) G Boston Celtics 72 642 8.92 [5][11]
1956–57 Bob Cousy* (5) G Boston Celtics 64 478 7.47 [5][11]
1957–58 Bob Cousy* (6) G Boston Celtics 65 463 7.12 [5][11]
1958–59 Bob Cousy* (7) G Boston Celtics 65 557 8.57 [5][11]
1959–60 Bob Cousy* (8) G Boston Celtics 75 715 9.53 [5][11]
1960–61 Oscar Robertson* G Cincinnati Royals 71 690 9.72 [5][12]
1961–62 Oscar Robertson* (2) G Cincinnati Royals 79 899 11.38 [5][12]
1962–63 Guy Rodgers* G San Francisco Warriors 79 825 10.44 [5][13]
1963–64 Oscar Robertson* (3) G Cincinnati Royals 79 868 10.99 [5][12]
1964–65 Oscar Robertson* (4) G Cincinnati Royals 75 861 11.48 [5][12]
1965–66 Oscar Robertson* (5) G Cincinnati Royals 76 847 11.14 [5][12]
1966–67 Guy Rodgers* (2) G Chicago Bulls 81 908 11.21 [5][13]
1967–68 Wilt Chamberlain*[b] C Philadelphia 76ers 82 702 8.56 [5][14]
1968–69 Oscar Robertson* (6) G Cincinnati Royals 79 772 9.77 [5][12]
1969–70 Lenny Wilkens* G Seattle SuperSonics 75 683 9.11 [5][15][16]
1970–71 Norm Van Lier G Cincinnati Royals 82 832 10.15 [5][17][18]
1971–72 Jerry West*[c] G Los Angeles Lakers 77 747 9.70 [5][19][20]
1972–73 Nate Archibald* G Kansas City–Omaha Kings 80 910 11.38 [5][21][22]
1973–74 Ernie DiGregorio G Buffalo Braves 81 663 8.19 [5][23][24]
1974–75 Kevin Porter G Washington Bullets 81 650 8.02 [5][25][26]
1975–76 Slick Watts G Seattle SuperSonics 82 661 8.06 [5][27][28]
1976–77 Don Buse G Indiana Pacers 81 685 8.46 [5][29][30]
1977–78 Kevin Porter (2) G Detroit Pistons
New Jersey Nets
82 837 10.21 [5][26][31]
1978–79 Kevin Porter (3) G Detroit Pistons 82 1,099 13.40 [5][26][32]
1979–80 Michael Ray Richardson G/F New York Knicks 82 835 10.15 [5][33][34]
1980–81 Kevin Porter (4) G Washington Bullets 81 734 9.06 [5][26][35]
1981–82 Johnny Moore G San Antonio Spurs 79 762 9.65 [5][36][37]
1982–83 Magic Johnson* G Los Angeles Lakers 79 829 10.49 [5][38][39]
1983–84 Magic Johnson* (2)[d] G Los Angeles Lakers 67 875 13.06 [5][39][40]
1984–85 Isiah Thomas* G Detroit Pistons 81 1,123 13.86 [5][41][42]
1985–86 Magic Johnson* (3) G Los Angeles Lakers 72 907 12.60 [5][39][43]
1986–87 Magic Johnson* (4) G Los Angeles Lakers 80 977 12.21 [5][39][44]
1987–88 John Stockton* G Utah Jazz 82 1,128 13.76 [5][45][46]
1988–89 John Stockton* (2) G Utah Jazz 82 1,118 13.63 [5][46][47]
1989–90 John Stockton* (3)[e] G Utah Jazz 78 1,134 14.54 [5][46][48]
1990–91 John Stockton* (4)[f] G Utah Jazz 82 1,164 14.20 [5][46][49]
1991–92 John Stockton* (5) G Utah Jazz 82 1,126 13.73 [5][46]
1992–93 John Stockton* (6) G Utah Jazz 82 987 12.04 [5][46][50]
1993–94 John Stockton* (7) G Utah Jazz 82 1,031 12.57 [5][46][51]
1994–95 John Stockton* (8) G Utah Jazz 82 1,011 12.33 [5][46][52]
1995–96 John Stockton* (9) G Utah Jazz 82 916 11.17 [5][46][53]
1996–97 Mark Jackson G Denver Nuggets
Indiana Pacers
82 935 11.40 [5][54][55]
1997–98 Rod Strickland G Washington Wizards 76 801 10.54 [5][56][57]
1998–99[g] Jason Kidd* G Phoenix Suns 50 539 10.78 [5][59][60]
1999–00 Jason Kidd* (2)[h] G Phoenix Suns 67 678 10.12 [5][60][61]
2000–01 Jason Kidd* (3) G Phoenix Suns 77 753 9.78 [5][60][62]
2001–02 Andre Miller G Cleveland Cavaliers 81 882 10.89 [5][63][64]
2002–03 Jason Kidd* (4) G New Jersey Nets 80 711 8.89 [5][60][65]
2003–04 Jason Kidd* (5)[i] G New Jersey Nets 67 618 9.22 [5][60][66]
2004–05 Steve Nash G Phoenix Suns 75 861 11.48 [5][67][68]
2005–06 Steve Nash* (2) G Phoenix Suns 79 826 10.46 [5][68][69]
2006–07 Steve Nash* (3) G Phoenix Suns 76 884 11.63 [5][68][70]
2007–08 Chris Paul^ G New Orleans Hornets 80 925 11.56 [5][71][72]
2008–09 Chris Paul^ (2) G New Orleans Hornets 78 861 11.04 [5][72]
2009–10 Steve Nash* (4) G Phoenix Suns 81 892 11.01 [5][68]
2010–11 Steve Nash* (5) G Phoenix Suns 74 845 11.42 [5][68]
2011–12[j] Rajon Rondo^[k] G Boston Celtics 53 620 11.70 [5][75]
2012–13 Rajon Rondo^ (2)[l] G Boston Celtics 38 420 11.05 [5][75]
2013–14 Chris Paul^ (3)[m] G Los Angeles Clippers 62 663 10.69 [72]
2014–15 Chris Paul^ (4) G Los Angeles Clippers 82 838 10.20 [72]
2015–16 Rajon Rondo^ (3) G Sacramento Kings 72 839 11.70 [75]
2016–17 James Harden^ G Houston Rockets 81 907 11.20 [79]
2017–18 Russell Westbrook^ G Oklahoma City Thunder 80 820 10.25 [80]

Multiple-time leaders[edit]

Ranking Player Team Times leader Years
1 John Stockton Utah Jazz 9 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
2 Bob Cousy Boston Celtics 8 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960
3 Oscar Robertson Cincinnati Royals 6 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969
4 Jason Kidd
Steve Nash
Phoenix Suns (3) / New Jersey Nets (2)
Phoenix Suns
5 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004
2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011
5 Magic Johnson
Chris Paul
Kevin Porter
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Hornets (2) / Los Angeles Clippers (2)
Washington Bullets (2) / Detroit Pistons (1) / Pistons/New Jersey Nets (1)
4 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987
2008, 2009, 2014, 2015
1975, 1978, 1979, 1981
6 Rajon Rondo Boston Celtics (2) / Sacramento Kings (1) 3 2012, 2013, 2016
7 Andy Phillip
Guy Rodgers
Philadelphia Warriors
San Francisco Warriors (1) / Chicago Bulls (1)
2 1951, 1952
1963, 1967

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The player's primary position is listed first.
  2. ^ Chamberlain became the first and, as of the 2016–17 season, only center to win the assists title.
  3. ^ In the 1971–72 season, Lenny Wilkens had the highest assist total (766) but was second in assist average (9.6).[19]
  4. ^ In the 1983–84 season, Isiah Thomas and Norm Nixon both had the highest assist totals (914) but they were tied for second in assist average (11.1).[40]
  5. ^ John Stockton holds the all-time record for total assists per game in a single season.[2]
  6. ^ John Stockton holds the all-time record for total assists in a single season.[2]
  7. ^ The 1998–99 season was shortened to 50 games due to the league's lockout.[58] The qualification of this season's assist title is to appear in at least 43 games (out of 50) or to have at least 244 assists.[3]
  8. ^ In the 1999–2000 season, Jason Kidd had only played in 67 games and ranked fifth in assist total. Gary Payton had the highest total (732).[61]
  9. ^ In the 2003–04 season, Stephon Marbury and Steve Nash both had higher assist totals (719 and 687 respectively) but they ranked second and third in assist average (8.9 and 8.8), respectively.[66]
  10. ^ The 2011–12 season was shortened to 66 games due to the league's lockout.[73] The qualification of this season's assist title is to appear in at least 57 games (out of 66) or to have at least 322 assists.[3]
  11. ^ In the 2011–12 season, Steve Nash had the highest assist total (664) but was second in assist average (10.7).[74]
  12. ^ In the 2012–13 season, Greivis Vásquez had the highest assist total (704) but was third in assist average (9.0).[76]
  13. ^ In the 2013–14 season, John Wall, Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry all had higher assist totals (721, 703 and 666 respectively) but they were tied for second, ranked fifth and sixth in assist average (8.8, 8.6 and 8.5), respectively.[77][78]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "Basketball glossary". FIBA.com. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Regular Season Records: Assists". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Rate Statistic Requirements". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Mark Jackson is Unanimous Choice". Rome News-Tribune. May 6, 1988. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo "2013-14 Official NBA Guide" (PDF). nba.com. November 6, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Ernie Calverley Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Howie Dallmar Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bob Davies Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Dick McGuire Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Andy Phillip Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bob Cousy Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Oscar Robertson Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Guy Rodgers Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Wilt Chamberlain Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  15. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1969–70". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Lenny Wilkens Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  17. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1970–71". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Norm Van Lier Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "League Leaders: Assists – 1971–72". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Jerry West Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
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  22. ^ "Nate Archibald Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  23. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1973–74". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Ernie DiGregorio Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  25. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1974–75". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b c d "Kevin Porter Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  27. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1975–76". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Slick Watts Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
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  30. ^ "Don Buse Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
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  33. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1979–80". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
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  36. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1981–82". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
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  44. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1986–87". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
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  49. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1990–91". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  50. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1992–93". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  51. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1993–94". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  52. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1994–95". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  53. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1995–96". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  54. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1996–97". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  55. ^ "Mark Jackson Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  56. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1997–98". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  57. ^ "Rod Strickland Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  58. ^ Beck, Howard (February 14, 2009). "N.B.A. and Union Are Discussing New Labor Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  59. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 1998–99". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  60. ^ a b c d e "Jason Kidd Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  61. ^ a b "League Leaders: Assists – 1999–2000". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  62. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 2000–01". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  63. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 2001–02". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
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  66. ^ a b "League Leaders: Assists – 2003–04". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  67. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 2004–05". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  68. ^ a b c d e "Steve Nash Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  69. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 2005–06". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  70. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 2006–07". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  71. ^ "League Leaders: Assists – 2007–08". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  72. ^ a b c d "Chris Paul Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  73. ^ Beck, Howard (November 28, 2011). "Two Exhibition Games for N.B.A. Teams". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  74. ^ "2011-12 NBA Season Summary". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  75. ^ a b c "Rajon Rondo Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  76. ^ "2012-13 NBA Season Summary". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  77. ^ "2013-14 NBA Season Summary". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  78. ^ "Stephen Curry Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  79. ^ "James Harden Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  80. ^ "Russell Westbrook Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.