The Last 40 Assist Champions: John Stockton Is The All

In basketball, the final 40 seconds of a game are often filled with clutch shots and comebacks. In honor of John Stockton’s number retirement ceremony, here is a list of every player who has been an All Star in his last 40 years as well as what he was at that age.

John Stockton is the all-time assist champion with 15,806 assists. He is followed by Jason Kidd who has 13,091 assists.

The NBA’s offensive is at an all-time high these days, with teams focused on efficient methods to score a lot of points. Of course, we have some of the finest offensive players in history handling the ball, and creating opportunities for others is the best way to rack up scores. The NBA encourages ball movement and collaboration, which is why we see high assist statistics week after week.

Here are the assist champions from 1981 through the 2021 season, based on a 40-year look back. Some players’ names will appear more than once, while others have managed to elevate offensive to a new level by providing several opportunities for their colleagues. Here are the past 40 NBA assist champs, without further ado.

Table of Contents

Kevin Porter – 9.1 APG – 1981 (Washington Bullets)

Kevin Porter, a four-time Assist Champion, started the 1981 season with a 9.1 APG average. Porter also had seasons in which he led the league with 10.2 and 13.4 assists per game, but the point guard was just as productive with the Washington Bullets at 30 years old. Porter missed the whole 1982 season due to a leg ailment, but he still managed to earn his fourth scoring championship before retiring after that pain-plagued year.

Johnny Moore, 9.6 APG, 1982 (San Antonio Spurs)

Moore emerged into the finest playmaker in the NBA after a disappointing rookie season in which he averaged 7.4 PPG and 4.5 APG for the San Antonio Spurs. Moore, a 6’1″ point guard with excellent vision, would go on to average over 9.0 APG for the next four seasons. Moore’s career will end after the 1986 season, but he had a fantastic five-year stint.

Magic Johnson (10.5 APG) in 1983 (Los Angeles Lakers)

Magic Johnson was already back to becoming one of the finest players in the world at the age of 23. Johnson, who is 35 years old, averaged 16.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while playing alongside a powerful Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Lakers had a lot of skill and made it to the NBA Finals, but they were swept by the Philadelphia 76ers, who were led by Moses Malone and Julius Erving.

Magic Johnson (13.1 APG) in 1984 (Los Angeles Lakers)

Magic Johnson would lead the NBA in assists per game for the second year in a row. The Lakers would reach the NBA Finals thanks to the famous superstar, but they would lose in seven games to the Boston Celtics. Even though the Lakers did not win the NBA title, Magic was still a powerful superstar at the age of 24, averaging 17.6 points per game and 13.1 assists per game, and this season will be remembered by Lakers fans.

Isiah Thomas, 13.9 APG, 1985 (Detroit Pistons)

Despite just being in his fourth year, Isiah Thomas, 23, had one of his best individual seasons. Thomas had a tremendous season, averaging 21.2 points per game and 13.9 assists per game, but the Pistons were unable to reach the Western Conference Finals, losing in the second round. Still, the Pistons were constructing something, and it wouldn’t be long until they won an NBA title.

Magic Johnson – 12.6 APG in 1986 (Los Angeles Lakers)

After Isiah Thomas led the NBA in assists with almost 14 per game, Magic reclaimed the title with 12.6 per game. Magic made feeding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy for easy baskets appear simple, and he was the essence of “Showtime.” Magic was putting space between himself and the other point guards in NBA history at the age of 26, which was incredible to see.

Magic Johnson – 12.2 APG in 1987 (Los Angeles Lakers)

Magic Johnson is widely regarded as the best all-around point guard of all time. While he did not have the assist championships as John Stockton had, he excelled in many other categories. However, Magic won his fourth assist title in 1987, scoring 23.9 points per game and 12.2 assists per game while guiding Los Angeles to the NBA Finals and winning the championship. Magic is absolutely unique, and his fourth assist championship pales in comparison to what he has accomplished during his career.

John Stockton (13.8 APG) in 1988 (Utah Jazz)

When it comes to assists, no one comes close to John Stockton. Stockton’s numbers were improved by playing with Karl Malone, but he was an all-time great floor general. In terms of staying selfless to enable other players to succeed, the superstar leader was superior to every player, ever. Despite shooting less than ten shots per game, Stockton was a superb facilitator, allowing Karl Malone to score 27.7 points per game.

John Stockton (13.6 APG) in 1989 (Utah Jazz)

In 1989, John Stockton would begin a lengthy run of assist championships, winning his second in a row. Once again, the point guard topped 13 assists per game, feeding his superstar colleague Karl Malone (29.1 PPG). Without Stockton, Malone would not be among the top three scorers of all time, and Stockton would not lead all players in assists. The 1989 season was another example of how both players became identified with one another.

John Stockton (14.5 APG) – 1990 (Utah Jazz)

John Stockton led the NBA in assists once again, averaging well over 14 per game. There is no one who can compare to him since he made it appear so easy. Stockton was an assist machine with a powerful Karl Malone, averaging 37.4 MPG (31.0 PPG). The Mailman took the most of the credit for the team’s outstanding performance, but Stockton was perhaps just as responsible for their 55-27 record.

John Stockton – 14.2 APG – 1991 (Utah Jazz)

On the floor, as good as Karl Malone (29.0 PPG) and Jeff Malone (18.6 PPG) were, John Stockton’s 1991 season was genuinely outstanding. Despite taking less than 12 shots per game, the point guard averaged 17.2 points and 14.2 assists a game for Utah. Stockton was an all-time great point guard who fed a superstar big man.

John Stockton (13.7 APG) in 1992 (Utah Jazz)

John Stockton and the Jazz were a powerhouse in the West with a 55-27 record. Karl Malone, the all-time best point guard, averaged 28.0 points per game beside him. Utah reached the playoffs once again, this time reaching Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Stockton enabled the Jazz to go as far as they did because he allowed them to advance the ball at an outstanding level in order to feed The Mailman down low.

John Stockton – 12.0 APG – 1993 (Utah Jazz)

A fantastic opportunity John Stockton was at the top of his powers once again, averaging 12.0 APG and consistently supporting Karl Malone’s 27.0 PPG scoring. Due to Stockton’s presence as a point guard, Jeff Malone (18.1 PPG) was also a valuable contributor, and this trio was good enough to enable Utah finish third in the Midwest Division with a 47-35 record.

John Stockton – 12.6 APG in 1994 (Utah Jazz)

The Jazz were once again a dominating force in the Western Conference with Stockton at the lead. The point guard once again led the league in assists, helping Utah reach the Western Conference Finals at the conclusion of the season. Stockton and Malone were undoubtedly one of the finest duos ever, and they were accomplishing tremendous things together.

12.3 APG – John Stockton, 1995 (Utah Jazz)

Stockton made it eight in a row in 1995, averaging over 12 APG once again. No defense could fairly prepare for the two-way star’s mastery of the pick n roll with Malone. Stockton understood when to go for the hoop, find Malone, or wait for a new play to be called. Although there have been many great point guards in NBA history, Stockton would go on to even greater heights the next season.

John Stockton – 11.2 APG in 1996 (Utah Jazz)

John Stockton was nearly as brilliant a passer as Michael Jordan, who ruled the scoring statistics with ten championships. The Assist King won his 9th consecutive assist championship in 1996, and Stockton made it look easy once again. Stockton set a record that will almost certainly never be broken with Karl Malone at his side.

1997 – Mark Jackson (Denver Nuggets / Indiana Pacers) – 11.4 APG

Mark Jackson was a superb point guard in his day, averaging 11.4 assists per game to lead the NBA in 1997. Despite playing for both the Nuggets and the Pacers this season, Jackson averaged 12.3 APG in 52 games with Denver and 9.8 APG in 30 games with the Pacers. Jackson was a fantastic ballhandler and passer who was also one of the NBA’s most underappreciated guards.

Rod Strickland – 10.5 APG in 1998 (Washington Wizards)

“Hot Rod” is a term used to describe a vehicle that is Strickland was a tremendous offensive player throughout his career, but 1998 was his greatest year. Strickland, who was named to his first All-NBA Team, averaged 17.8 points per game and 10.5 assists per game, the latter being a career best. In the same season, Strickland became the 25th player in NBA history to score 10,000 points and 5,000 assists, only one year after guiding Washington to its first playoff appearance in eight years.

Jason Kidd, 10.8 APG, 1999 (Phoenix Suns)

Jason Kidd, at 25 years old, set a career best in APG while guiding the Suns to a winning record in 1999. Kidd didn’t have much scoring skill to work with apart from Tom Gugliotta and a 32-year-old Clifford Robinson, but he still almost averaged 11 APG. Jason Kidd started to emerge as a superstar, and he would soar in the following seasons.

Jason Kidd, 10.1 APG, Jason Kidd, Jason Kidd, Jason Kidd, Jason Kidd, Jason Kidd, Jason Kid (Phoenix Suns)

Jason Kidd averaged a double-double alongside Clifford Robinson and Penny Hardaway, averaging 14.3 points per game and 10.1 assists per game. The Suns were a good team, but Kidd’s celebrity status was vital in their 53 victories throughout the season. During the early 2000s, Jason Kidd was by far the most influential point guard in the game, and his assist totals reflected that.

Jason Kidd, 9.8 APG, 2001 (Phoenix Suns)

Despite not having much offensive skill around him, superstar Jason Kidd topped the NBA in assists for the third year in a row. Kidd was able to be a strong playmaker for a Suns team that finished third in the Pacific Division, thanks to the contributions of Shawn Marion (17.3 PPG) and Clifford Robinson (16.4 PPG).

Andre Miller (10.9 APG) in 2002 (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Andre Miller led the NBA in assists with 10.9 APG to go along with 16.5 PPG two years after being picked No. 8 overall in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although the 6’3″ point guard lacked a reliable long-range shot, he was able to aggressively attack the hoop and set up teammates with ease. Miller would go on to have a long and successful career, but the 2002 season was particularly memorable for him.

Jason Kidd – 8.9 APG in 2003 (New Jersey Nets)

Jason Kidd, probably the best player in the game at the time, put New Jersey on the map. While making his sixth All-Star Team, the point guard was tremendously dominant as a leader and all-around player, averaging 18.7 PPG and 8.9 APG. Kidd was a terrific player in every aspect of the game, and his 2003 season may have been his best ever on a personal level.

Jason Kidd – 9.2 APG – 2004 (New Jersey Nets)

Jason Kidd picked up where he left off in recent years, collecting his fifth assist championship in the last six years. Kidd was a fantastic passer as well as a powerful defender and outspoken leader. The tenacious point guard excelled at entering the paint, delivering precise passes, and doing all in his power to help his team win every season.

Steve Nash – 11.5 APG in 2005 (Phoenix Suns)

Steve Nash was without a doubt the finest playmaker in the NBA, despite the fact that his 2005 MVP Award was heavily questioned. Steve Nash was unstoppable with the ball in his hands, averaging 15.5 points per game and 11.5 assists per game, and he fed his star teammates like Amar’e Stoudemire with ease. Stoudemire developed into a dominating player (26.0 PPG) as a result of Nash’s playmaking, and the point guard was named MVP as a star who improved others.

Steve Nash – 10.5 APG in 2006 (Phoenix Suns)

Nash won his second consecutive MVP Award and led the league in assists for the second year in a row. The Phoenix Suns were an elite Western Conference club with averages of 18.8 points per game and 10.5 assists per game, and an offense led by one of the best passers in NBA history. Nash made the game appear easy on offense because, despite his ability to score, his passing was the most important reason in his team’s success.

Steve Nash (11.6 APG) in 2007. (Phoenix Suns)

Steve Nash led the NBA in assists for the third consecutive season, averaging a monstrous double-double average (18.6 PPG and 11.6 APG). As predicted, he was nominated for his third consecutive MVP Award, but he came in second behind Dirk Nowitzki. Nash was on another level as a passer this season, as he had been the previous two seasons, and he started to cement his status as an all-time great.

Chris Paul – 11.6 APG in 2008 (New Orleans Hornets)

Chris Paul was a huge part of the Charlotte Hornets’ success in the league as a point guard. In his third season, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer became an All-Star, and despite being 6’0″, Paul was a formidable passer and scorer. More assist championships were on the way now that CP3 had emerged as a celebrity.

Chris Paul – 11.0 APG in 2009 (New Orleans Hornets)

Because he was the greatest leader on the court and a fantastic passer, Chris Paul started to stake his claim as a possible top-5 player in the NBA. Paul had a talent for reading the offense better than others in his period and making the appropriate plays at the right time. CP3 was on a bad team this season, yet he still managed to rack up massive assist totals for the second year in a row.

Steve Nash – 11.0 APG in 2010 (Phoenix Suns)

Nash won his fourth assist championship in 2010, scoring 16.5 points per game and 11.0 assists per game while making his seventh All-Star team. The future Hall of Fame point guard was a complete point player who improved all of his teammates while creating offense by dribbling circles around defenders. Nash was the mastermind of the Suns’ outstanding Western Conference team.

Steve Nash (11.4 APG) in 2011. (Phoenix Suns)

Steve Nash, who is 36 years old, won his fifth assist championship, adding to his growing collection of honors. With age, the Canadian great appeared to improve, playing like a playmaking master who had an influence on the game on all levels. When it comes to scoring, Nash has no trouble deferring to teammates, despite his ball-dominance, something the NBA has no problem with.

Rajon Rondo (11.7 APG) in 2012 (Boston Celtics)

Rajon Rondo made his third consecutive All-Star Team with the Celtics in 2012, as he began to establish himself as one of the top point guards in the NBA. Despite his aloof exterior, Rondo was an excellent passer who helped everyone around him improve. Rondo had a fantastic season as a lockdown defender and facilitator, averaging almost 12 APG. It wouldn’t be long before there was a second assist championship.

Rajon Rondo (11.1 APG) in 2013 (Boston Celtics)

The Boston Celtics were not as good as they had been in 2008, but Rajon Rondo emerged as the team’s greatest player. The point guard would go on to make his last All-Star appearance, averaging 13.7 points per game and 11.1 assists per game, and he earned it for his tremendous passing abilities. Rondo is a brilliant passer with a sixth instinct, which is why he will win another assist championship in a few years.

Chris Paul – 10.7 APG in 2014 (Los Angeles Clippers)

Chris Paul reigned supreme as the NBA’s assist leader for the first time since 2009. Paul’s playmaking enabled players like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to grow as lob partners and all-around threats near the basket as the Clippers developed into a championship contender.

Chris Paul – 10.2 APG in 2015 (Los Angeles Clippers)

Chris Paul, one of the best point guards of all time, won his fourth assist championship of his career, and his second in a row. The Clippers followed Paul’s lead since the point guard was the team’s best scorer and playmaker. Paul’s effect as a point guard in Los Angeles was genuinely outstanding, despite his little stature.

Rajon Rondo (11.7 APG) in 2016 (Sacramento Kings)

Rajon Rondo led the league in assists in a renewing season with the Sacramento Kings, after a few years away from being the starting point guard for the Boston Celtics. Rondo was a master at setting up teammates, playing the pick & roll, and making the most of the opportunities he was given. The Kings were not a very good team, but Rondo helped them become more efficient offensively.

James Harden – 11.2 APG in 2017 (Houston Rockets)

In 2017, James Harden was a strong contender for MVP, averaging 29.1 points per game and a league-leading 11.2 assists per game. The Houston Rockets had a lot of success scoring the ball while The Beard was in charge of the offense. Harden’s double-double presence was vital in Houston’s ability to compete with the league’s elite teams, and The Beard started to cement his place as an all-time great player.

Russell Westbrook – 10.3 APG in 2018 (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Russell Westbrook won his first assist championship with the Thunder a year after earning league MVP. He had his second consecutive triple-double average for the season. Without Kevin Durant, the point guard followed up a tremendous MVP season with outstanding passing abilities and thrived once again.

Russell Westbrook – 10.7 APG in 2019 (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Westbrook led the Thunder into the playoffs for the second year in a row, thanks to his playmaking. In 2019, Westbrook was unstoppable, racking up a triple-double for the third year in a row. Russ was given complete control of the Thunder’s offense and once again put up record numbers, utilizing his agility to attract defensive attention and routinely feed his teammates.

LeBron James – 10.2 APG in 2020 (Los Angeles Lakers)

With the Lakers, LeBron James added another trophy to his collection, as he led the league in assists per game. James took a step back from scoring the ball while playing with Anthony Davis to become the finest playmaker in the game. The King may be the finest passing forward of all time, and the fact that he led the league in assists at the age of 35 was incredible to see.

Russell Westbrook – 11.7 APG in 2021 (Washington Wizards)

Russell Westbrook topped the NBA in assists for the third time in four years. Even when he joined a new club in 2021, Westbrook found it simple to defeat opponents off the dribble and set up his teammates. The Wizards possessed a brilliant scorer in Bradley Beal, as well as talented big players who could finish around the basket. Despite criticism of his skills as a controlled point guard, Westbrook reigned supreme as the game’s finest playmaker.


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The “john stockton defense” is a basketball term used to describe the team’s defensive strategy when they have possession of the ball. The All-time assist champions are John Stockton and Magic Johnson.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many 20 assist games did John Stockton have?

A: John Stockton played in 9,837 games.

What is John Stockton career high in assists?

A: John Stockton had a career high of 18 assists in the 1995-1996 season.

How many times did John Stockton lead the league in assists?

A: John Stockton led the league in assists nine times.

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