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Who Has The Most NBA Assist Titles?

Scoring, dunking, playing defense, all of these are things that you need to be able to do at a high level in order to have a long basketball career. However, one key attribute that I haven’t mentioned yet is passing. You need to be able to pass the basketball and get your teammates involved, especially when you’re the lead point guard on the roster. But which players are the best at doing this? This leads me to this very important question, who has the most NBA assist titles in league history?

Who Has The Most NBA Assist Titles? The player who has the most NBA Assist titles is former Utah Jazz Point Guard John Stockton. Stockton, now long retired, was able to win the assist title nine times throughout his career. In addition he retired leading the league in NBA assists, a record he still holds to this day.

Stockton and a variety of other players have been great at passing the basketball, and it’s a category that very well might see someone get closer to Stockton as time goes on.

NBA Assist Title Winners by Season

SeasonPlayerTeamAssists per game
1946–47Ernie CalverleyProvidence Steamrollers3.4
1947–48Howie DallmarPhiladelphia Warriors2.5
1948–49Bob DaviesRochester Royals5.4
1949–50Dick McGuireNew York Knicks5.7
1950–51Andy PhillipPhiladelphia Warriors6.3
1951–52Andy PhillipPhiladelphia Warriors8.2
1952–53Bob CousyBoston Celtics7.7
1953–54Bob CousyBoston Celtics7.2
1954–55Bob CousyBoston Celtics7.9
1955–56Bob CousyBoston Celtics8.9
1956–57Bob CousyBoston Celtics7.5
1957–58Bob CousyBoston Celtics7.1
1958–59Bob CousyBoston Celtics8.6
1959–60Bob CousyBoston Celtics9.5
1960–61Oscar RobertsonCincinnati Royals9.7
1961–62Oscar RobertsonCincinnati Royals11.4
1962–63Guy RodgersSan Francisco Warriors10.4
1963–64Oscar RobertsonCincinnati Royals11.0
1964–65Oscar RobertsonCincinnati Royals11.5
1965–66Oscar RobertsonCincinnati Royals11.1
1966–67Guy RodgersChicago Bulls11.2
1967–68Wilt ChamberlainPhiladelphia 76ers8.6
1968–69Oscar RobertsonCincinnati Royals9.8
1969–70Lenny WilkensSeattle SuperSonics9.1
1970–71Norm Van LierCincinnati Royals10.2
1971–72Jerry WestLos Angeles Lakers9.7
1972–73Nate ArchibaldKansas City–Omaha Kings11.4
1973–74Ernie DiGregorioBuffalo Braves8.2
1974–75Kevin PorterWashington Bullets8.0
1975–76Slick WattsSeattle SuperSonics8.1
1976–77Don BuseIndiana Pacers8.5
1977–78Kevin PorterDetroit Pistons New Jersey Nets10.2
1978–79Kevin PorterDetroit Pistons13.4
1979–80Michael Ray RichardsonNew York Knicks10.2
1980–81Kevin PorterWashington Bullets9.1
1981–82Johnny MooreSan Antonio Spurs9.7
1982–83Magic JohnsonLos Angeles Lakers10.5
1983–84Magic JohnsonLos Angeles Lakers13.1
1984–85Isiah ThomasDetroit Pistons13.9
1985–86Magic JohnsonLos Angeles Lakers12.6
1986–87Magic JohnsonLos Angeles Lakers12.2
1987–88John StocktonUtah Jazz13.8
1988–89John StocktonUtah Jazz13.6
1989–90John StocktonUtah Jazz14.5
1990–91John StocktonUtah Jazz14.2
1991–92John StocktonUtah Jazz13.7
1992–93John StocktonUtah Jazz12.0
1993–94John StocktonUtah Jazz12.6
1994–95John StocktonUtah Jazz12.3
1995–96John StocktonUtah Jazz11.2
1996–97Mark JacksonDenver Nuggets Indiana Pacers11.4
1997–98Rod StricklandWashington Wizards10.5
1998–99[g]Jason KiddPhoenix Suns10.8
1999–00Jason KiddPhoenix Suns10.1
2000–01Jason KiddPhoenix Suns9.8
2001–02Andre MillerCleveland Cavaliers10.9
2002–03Jason KiddNew Jersey Nets8.9
2003–04Jason Kidd* (5)[i]New Jersey Nets9.2
2004–05Steve NashPhoenix Suns11.5
2005–06Steve NashPhoenix Suns10.5
2006–07Steve NashPhoenix Suns11.6
2007–08Chris PaulNew Orleans Hornets11.6
2008–09Chris PaulNew Orleans Hornets11.0
2009–10Steve NashPhoenix Suns11.0
2010–11Steve NashPhoenix Suns11.4
2011–12[j]Rajon RondoBoston Celtics11.7
2012–13Rajon RondoBoston Celtics11.1
2013–14Chris PaulLos Angeles Clippers10.7
2014–15Chris PaulLos Angeles Clippers10.2
2015–16Rajon RondoSacramento Kings11.7
2016–17James HardenHouston Rockets11.2
2017–18Russell WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder10.3
2018–19Russell WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder10.7
2019–20LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers10.2
2020–21Russell WestbrookWashington Wizards11.8
2021–22Chris PaulPhoenix Suns10.8

John Stockton Was Unstoppable

John Stockton played the prime of his basketball career with the Utah Jazz as a teammate to Karl Malone. The two formed an unbelievable pick-and-roll that opposing defenses quite literally couldn’t stop even if they game planned for it. It’s not every day that you get a passer like Stockton and a dominant scorer like Malone on the same team. Stockton was just one of those players that only made a pass down the court when he knew it would work out to their advantage. He wasn’t somebody to just force the ball to his teammates if it wasn’t working. He had eyes on the back of his head and always found the wide-open man. Not only has he been able to win nine different assist titles throughout his career, but he is currently still the all-time assists leader in general. He finished his career with over 15,000 dimes, a stat that is going to be outrageously hard to overcome. All of these assist titles were in consecutive years by the way and saw him average 13.1 dimes a night over the course of 734 total games. During that span, he racked up 9,615 out of his total career assists. Again, that is just over the course of nine years. It’s hard to imagine another player dishing it out like this for an entire nine-year span. The guy literally didn’t fall off in the slightest.

Stocktons Closest Rivals

After Stockton in the assist titles leaderboard, there isn’t much of a gap. However, there is a pretty big gap between players that are currently retired and players still playing that could rise up the rankings. Behind Stockton comes Bob Cousy in second, as he has won eight assist titles. They were over eight straight seasons just like Stockton and he averaged 7.0 dimes a night or better in every single season during that span. Unfortunately, though, he did retire just one title short. After Stockton comes Oscar Robertson at seven titles. Robertson was the first player in league history at the time to average a triple-double and won back-to-back assists titles in his first two years in the league. He later went through another few years with multiple titles by averaging 10.7 assists per game. He’s currently eighth on the league’s all-time assists list. Then just outside the top three comes Chris Paul. CP3 has five Assist titles over his career and he’s still playing to this day. Now, he’s on the back end of his career and likely isn’t going to be capable of moving any further up the list, but it’s impressive nonetheless that he’s this close. After CP3, you have guys like Steve Nash and Jason Kidd tied with Paul at five titles and then Magic Johnson at four of these assists’ titles. If you also happen to be wondering if there is another current player that might be on the right track, there isn’t. Russell Westbrook has three assists’ titles but is in a poor position with the Los Angeles Lakers right now, a position where he isn’t going to be leading the league in dimes. The only other semi-current player in the top-10 in titles is Rajon Rondo with three also. Though he is very much on the end of his career at this point.

Most NBA Assist Titles – all time

PlayerTeamAssist TitlesYears
John StocktonUtah Jazz91988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
Bob CousyBoston Celtics81953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960
Oscar RobertsonCincinnati Royals61961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969
Jason KiddPhoenix Suns (3) / New Jersey Nets (2)51999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004
Chris PaulNew Orleans Hornets (2) / Los Angeles Clippers (2) / Phoenix Suns (1)2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2022
Steve NashPhoenix Suns2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011
Magic JohnsonLos Angeles Lakers41983, 1984, 1986, 1987
Kevin PorterWashington Bullets (2) / Detroit Pistons (1) / New Jersey Nets (1)1975, 1978, 1979, 1981
Rajon RondoBoston Celtics (2) / Sacramento Kings (1)32012, 2013, 2016
Russell WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder (2) / Washington Wizards (1)2018, 2019, 2021
Andy PhillipPhiladelphia Warriors21951, 1952
Guy RodgersSan Francisco Warriors (1) / Chicago Bulls (1)1963, 1967

All-Time Assists Leaders

Now, let’s see how the career numbers stack up in the assists category. Stockton is obviously at the top, setting the bar high with 15,806 assists over 1,504 games played. This evens out to a 10.5 assist per game average. Jason Kidd is second with 12,091 out of 1,391 games with an average of 8.7. To some, him being the closest to Stockton on the list right now might come as a surprise. Then, we have the closest current player in Chris Paul. Paul has 11,069 over 1,164 games and a 9.5 per game average. Nash, Mark Jackson and Johnson all fill in the next handful of spots right between Paul and LeBron James. James has 10,105 out of 1,374 games with 7.4 per game. As you can clearly see through just this small handful of numbers and players, nobody was ever close to Stockton. He’s got at least a 3,000-assist lead over every other person on the list. He’s got about 100 games played more than second place Jason Kidd and yet somehow still finds a way to average double digits in dimes during that stretch. Maybe we might be able to see Paul surpass Kidd if he can play for a few more years, but the chances of that happening at this stage make those odds incredibly slim. He appears to be at the back end of his career, as is the other close player on the list, LeBron James. James can certainly play for a few more years but is seventh right now and 1,000 away from Paul.