Veteran point-guard Chris Paul became the third player in NBA history to reach 11,000 assists on Sunday, with the landmark set up perfectly as the Phoenix Suns took on his former team in the Los Angeles Clippers.
Starting the game on 10,998 career assists, Paul quickly hit the feat within 90 seconds thanks to a Devin Booker three, followed by a patented alley-oop to Deandre Ayton. It catapulted an 11-0 run for the Suns and they never looked back in the 112-95 win.
Chris Paul continues to leave his mark as one of the best point-guards in history, his time at the Phoenix Suns playing an indelible role in the legacy.
Many thought the end was near when he was traded by the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019. After a season rehabbing his value and reaffirming the status of an All-Star level player, Paul has since helped changed the fortunes of a once-dwindling Suns franchise.
While there’s been criticism of his scoring output in the first three games of the season, and at other times over the last 12 months, one thing has always rang true — Paul’s ability to pick out and deliver on-point passes is a gift few have been blessed with.
After leading the league in assists per game last season, Paul’s 10.7 per game sits only behind Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11.7) in the early stages of this season. Now, with another 11 beside his name last night, the 37-year-old joins John Stockton and Jason Kidd as the only players above 11,000 career assists.
He’s leaving an imprint on Suns franchise records too, despite just entering his third season with the team. Paul is currently shading Kidd, Kevin Johnson and Steve Nash for assists per game at the Suns, while he’s second behind Nash in assist percentage. But perhaps most importantly, Paul holds a franchise-record 123.6 in offensive rating, demonstrating his importance and value in orchestrating that side of the ball.
A championship continues to elude the 12-time All-Star, as it does for the Suns as a franchise. It appears Paul will leave no stone unturned in seeking to end that drought.