Chris Paul overtakes Magic Johnson for fifth place on NBA assists list
Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Suns coach Monty Williams share Paul’s historic night by passing Magic Johnson on the all-time assists list.
Duane Rankin, Republic of Arizona
Monty Williams stayed true to reality in explaining why Chris Paul should be on the NBA’s top 75 list to celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary season.
“I don’t know how you can call a guy the best point guard of his generation and then he doesn’t make that list,” said the Suns coach.
The NBA has announced that a “blue panel made up of media, current and former players, coaches, general managers and team leaders” will select the 75th anniversary team.
“Ah man, that would mean a lot,” said Paul, 36, entering his 17th NBA season. “It would mean a lot.”
The 75th anniversary team will be announced later this month.
“The 2021-22 season will be really special as we celebrate 75 years of NBA basketball,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a press release in July. “We look forward to honoring the players and teams – past and present – who have inspired generations of fans around the world.”
Fifth all-time in assists (10,275) and interceptions (2,332), Paul is also 25th in free throw percentage, 87.3%. In addition to the numbers, Paul has played on 13 playoff teams in his 16 NBA seasons and led the Suns to the NBA Finals last season in his first year with the franchise.
“Look at the victories he has been able to achieve, be a part of them and have an influence in his career,” said Williams. “And the talent, the longevity. Of course someone looks at me and says he’s biased. They’d be right, but I also watched him from afar when I wasn’t with him and competing against him. , it was a pain in the buttocks. “
Paul is 22 points away from reaching 20,000 for his career. Currently 47th in the NBA’s all-time list (19,978 points), Paul is ahead of Hall of Famers John Stockton (19,711), six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen (18,940) and two-time NBA champion Isiah Thomas (18 822).
Stockton, Pippen and Thomas all made the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Top 50 list. Paul remembers watching the 1997 All-Star halftime ceremony in Cleveland when the 50 greatest players were presented.
If the NBA follows the same format for the 2022 All-Star Game which will be in Cleveland again on February 20, Paul could be part of an event of this magnitude.
“I remember when they made the top 50,” Paul said. “I remember watching that All-Star Game and seeing the top 50 come out with their jackets and stuff. So being a student of the game, yeah, that would mean a lot.”
Eleven times All-Star, Paul made 10 All-NBA times and nine times on the all-league defensive team. He has led the league in interceptions six times, finished first in assists four times and won Rookie of the Year in 2005-06 while playing for New Orleans.
Average of 18.3 points and 9.4 assists for just 2.4 turnovers in his NBA career, Paul led the league in free throw percentage last season, 93.4%, a career high.
Paul buys tickets for the Mercury playoff game
Paul bought a block of 500 tickets to Phoenix Mercury’s WNBA semi-final game against the Las Vegas Aces. Game 3 of the series, tied 1-1, will take place Sunday at noon at Desert Financial Arena in Arizona State.
Tickets will be available on a “first come, first served” basis to fans at the exchange table outside the arena from 10:30 am.
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