MILWAUKEE – Lebron James He passed Magic Johnson on the NBA’s all-time assists list while wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform on Friday, but he knows his place in the pecking order when it comes to Lakers lore.
“Knowing that I’m in the conversation or about to get to a point where I’m breaking a record that he set for this franchise, and I’m not comparing myself to Magic with this franchise, which he did, hehehe.
“The, [James] Worthy, Kobe [Bryant],shaq [O’Neal]Those guys are synonymous with this franchise. But it’s great, always, when I get to see my name with some of the greats. they’ve played this game,” James told ESPN this week when asked about the achievement he was nearing.
James set the mark with his ninth assist against the Milwaukee Bucks with 8:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, finding Anthony Davis for a 3-pointer to the right wing that gave LA a 112-108 lead.
It was his 10,142nd career assist, replacing Johnson as No. 6 on the all-time list. The only players ahead of James are ESPN analyst Mark Jackson (10,334); Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash (10,335); point guard for the Phoenix Suns and close friend of James, chris paul (11,071); Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd (12,091); and the great john stockton for the Utah Jazz (15,806).
James said being associated with Johnson, long considered one of the flashiest passers in the game, in an assist category is special.
“Listen, when you talk about one-name guys when you talk about sports, you have Ali, Jordan, Magic. Bird,” James told ESPN. “Those names are synonymous with sports. Montana. You know who we’re talking about.”
Johnson served as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations when James signed with the team as a free agent in the summer of 2018. After a difficult 2018-19 season, in which the Lakers finished 10th in the Western Conference despite add James to a group. of young talent, Johnson abruptly resigned before the end of the season.
James, on his barbershop-themed talk show, “The Shop,” later revealed how Johnson’s decision caught him by surprise.
“It was weird for him to just say, ‘I’m out of here,’ and not even say, ‘Hey, Bron, kiss my c–. I’m out of here,'” James said on his show in May 2019. “I would have been okay with that. ‘Hey Bron, it’s Magic. Kiss my ass, I’m leaving.’ Not even that.”
Johnson recalled his departure from the Lakers as a guest on Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” in October.
“I’m sorry I didn’t call LeBron to tell him I was retiring,” Johnson said. “I was really sorry. I owed him.”
Johnson, through a representative, declined an interview request for this story. James did not comment when asked by ESPN about the current status of his relationship with Johnson. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss also declined an interview request for this story, through a representative.
Johnson became the league’s all-time assists leader on April 15, 1991, surpassing Oscar Robertson’s leading mark at the time with his 9,888th career assist. Johnson did it in spectacular fashion, dishing out 19 assists on the record-breaking night in a win over the Dallas Mavericks. He held the record for nearly four years before Stockton passed him with his 9,922nd assist, appropriately enough, on a broadcast to Karl Malone.
James told ESPN that he learned the power of being a pass-first player from his early days in the sport.
“At the end of the day, this is a team game,” James said. “I was always raised that way. Teams win. That’s how you have to play and guys have to feel comfortable, guys have to feel like they’re a part of something. So when they taught me that way, I won my first year playing organized basketball. My sophomore year, I won the championship my sophomore year. And as I continued to grow, in AAU we won tournaments. And I got into high school, we won.
“So, I knew what it was. It was about guys coming together and playing together and playing for each other’s cause and not for the individual.”
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LeBron passes the Magic for sixth place in all-time assists