An assist in basketball is a statistic recorded when a pass by a player to another player on the same team leads to a scored basket. Assists are subjective statistics, meaning that it is up to the scorekeepers to decide whether a pass fit the criteria for an assist. The definition encompasses many types of passes, post ups, fast breaks, lobs, and specifies that the scoring player can take up to two dribbles if the pass still directly led to the basket.
History and Statistics
Assists have been recorded since the start of the NBA, and have become a more common aspect of every positions stat line. Guards, specifically point guards, used to dominate the assist totals for a team, and while they still lead their teams in the modern era, forwards and centers have seen their average rise with the domination of the three point shot and the need to space the floor.
John Stockton is the all time leader in assists with 15,806. Jason Kidd and Steve Nash round out the top three but neither are close to Stockton's record. Magic Johnson has the NBA title for highest assist per game average at 11.18.
Scott Skiles set the record for most assists in a single game with 30 in 1990.