John Stockton wasted little time in setting the record and ending what was fast becoming an ordeal for him, became the National Basketball Association’s career assist leader on this date back in 1995.
With a pass to Karl Malone, who scored from the left corner, the Utah Jazz guard set the record with 6 minutes 23 seconds to go before halftime in a game against the Denver Nuggets. The basket gave Stockton his 9,922d assist, putting him ahead of Magic Johnson.
Stockton entered the game 11 assists shy of the mark, and he produced in less than one half the number of assists he usually gets in an entire game.
"My teammates were going to make sure the record happened," Stockton said during post-game ceremonies. "It wasn't me. There were some wonderful shots tonight, some I won't soon forget.
Stockton’s record performance came in his 860th pro game. Magic Johnson set his assist total in 874 games. Stockton went onto record a total of 15,806 assists in his career, which is almost 4,000 more assists than the next closest player on the list.
Stockton’s other assists records included most in a season (1,164), the highest average for a season (14.5 APG), and most seasons leading the league and most consecutive seasons leading the league (nine). He also shared the record for most assists in a playoff game (24), had the second-highest assists average for a career (10.5 APG), and tied for third for most assists in a regular-season game (28).
John Stockton will forever be immortalized as a member of the Utah Jazz and as one of the best players in the history of the NBA as he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April of 2009.