Lakers’ Russell Westbrook surpasses Gary Payton in NBA history with feat

With both LeBron James and Anthony Davis sitting out Monday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets on the road, Russell Westbrook will have a larger load to carry every time he’s on the floor, especially when it comes to creating shots for his teammates. Speaking of which, Westbrook has just surpassed former NBA star Gary Payton for most career assists in the league when he dished out his fifth dime of the game versus the Nets.

“Russell Westbrook, who has five assists tonight, has moved into the top 10 on the all-time assists list, passing Gary Payton in the record books with 8,967,” per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “Last week he passed Charles Barkley for No. 28 on the all-time scoring list, too.”

Russell Westbrook entered the contest needing just four more assists to tie the former Seattle Supersonics point guard for 10th all-time in the NBA assists list. With five assists already versus the Nets, as of this writing, Westbrook has bumped Payton out of the top 10. The 34-year-old Westbrook started the day averaging 7.5 assists per game this season — the best among Lakers players.

Westbrook is a gifted playmaker, as he is able to consistently draw defenses before passing the ball to a teammate. He could have way more assists total than what he already has at this point if he only shot better from the perimeter. That would have made him an even trickier player to defend when combined with his ability to pass the ball.

Up next on the list is Isiah Thomas, who recorded 9,061 assists in his stellar career in the NBA.

The Lakers now have two active players inside the  NBA’s all-time top-10 assists list with LeBron James (10,327 — sixth overall) also on it.

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