LeBron Shows Passing Dedication by Passing Pippen

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With 6:30 left in the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons, LeBron James threw a behind-the-back pass to Kevin Love who drained a 3-pointer which gave James 5 assists for the night. It was the 6,136th of his career. With that assist, LeBron officially passed former Bull Scottie Pippen for most assists all time by a forward.

The accomplishment comes on the heels of LeBron passing longtime Sixers point guard Allen Iverson for 22nd on the all-time scoring list Sunday in a 101-83 win against the New York Knicks.

LeBron, 30, has based the last 12 years of his career on setting up his teammates and making them better. LeBron has always said that he’d rather set up a teammate than score himself and it shows: “It means way more than what I did passing Allen Iverson on Sunday,” James said. “I’ve always took a lot of pride and I get more of a rush seeing my teammates succeed more than myself. And that’s what an assist is all about. I was taught the game the right way and seeing my teammates succeed has always been something that I’ve cared about more than anything and that’s what it’s all about” (via ESPN).

Growing up, LeBron idolized Michael Jordan and bares his number 23 on his back today, but Pippen was also an inspiration. As a high school star, LeBron became a point-froward early on and ran the offense for the St. Vincent St. Mary Irish. So, even in high school LeBron was looking to pass rather than score.

Watch this video between 52:54 and 53:41 for a humble 18 year old LeBron James talking about his love for passing:

LeBron, for his career, has averaged 6.9 assists per game while averaging 27.4 points per game which is utterly incredible. It took Scottie Pippen 17 seasons and over 1,100 games to reach his career mark of 6,135 assists. For LeBron, it only took 890 games and less than 12 seasons to surpass the previous assist mark for a front court player.

Over the past 12 years, LeBron’s assists per game have never been below 5.9, and that was his average during his rookie season. LeBron’s best passing year was the 2009-2010 season when he averaged 8.6 assists per game and pretty much orchestrated the entire offense.

Cavs coach David Blatt was very proud of LeBron’s accomplishment.

That’s a fabulous accomplishment if you ask me,” Blatt said. “He just turned 30. He’s only 30 years old and to set a record like that speaks volumes to the kind of player he is. And to his level of greatness and his ability to make others around him great. That’s so impressive. I didn’t even recognize that was happening tonight” (via ESPN).

LeBron has been a model of consistency over his career and continues to be to this day. LeBron has set the standard for a “point-forward” and we may never see a player with his skill set ever again. With at least a half decade left until he retires, LeBron will certainly continue to climb up the points list as well as the assists list and break several more records.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have won 17 out of their last 19 games and look to continue their hot streak against the sharpshooting Golden State Warriors Thursday night.

 

By Gabe Cohn

Follow me on twitter @CSTGabe

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