In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads directly to a score by field goal, meaning that they were "assisting" in the basket. An assist is also credited when a basket is awarded due to defensive goaltending.
There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist. An assist can be scored for the passer even if the player who receives the pass makes a basket after dribbling the ball for a short distance. However, the original definition of an assist did not include such situations,so the comparison of assist statistics across eras is a complex matter.
Only the pass directly before the score may be counted as an assist, so no more than one assist can be recorded per field goal (unlike in other sports, such as ice hockey). A pass that leads to a shooting foul and scoring by free throws does not count as an assist in the NBA, but does in FIBA play (only one assist is awarded per set of free throws in which at least one free throw is made).
Point guards tend to get the most assists per game (apg), as their role is primarily that of a passer and ballhandler.
Centers tend to get fewer assists, but centers with good floor presence and court vision can dominate a team by assisting. Being inside the key, the center often has the best angles and the best position for "dishes" and other short passes in the scoring area. Current NBA Center Nikola Jokić is among the league leaders in assists and play-making. Center Wilt Chamberlain led the NBA in total assists in 1968. A strong center with inside-scoring prowess, such as former NBA center Hakeem Olajuwon, can also be an effective assister because the defense's double-teaming tends to open up offense in the form of shooters.
The NBA single-game assist team record is 53, held by the Milwaukee Bucks, on December 26, 1978.The NBA single-game assist individual record is 30, held by Scott Skiles of the Orlando Magic on December 30, 1990.
The NBA record for most career assists is held by John Stockton, with 15,806. Stockton also holds the NBA single season assist per game record with 14.5 during the 1989-1990 regular season. The highest career assist per game average in NBA history is held by Magic Johnson, with 11.2 assists per game.
Wilton Norman Chamberlain was an American professional basketball player who played at the center position. Standing at 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall, he played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 14 years and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the sport's history. Several players and publications have argued that Chamberlain is the greatest of all time. He holds numerous NBA regular season records in scoring, rebounding, and durability categories; blocks were not counted during his career. He was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, and elected to the NBA's 35th, 50th, and 75th anniversary teams. After his professional basketball career ended, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association (IVA). He was also once league president, and is enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions. Renowned for his strength, he appeared as the antagonist in the 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger film Conan the Destroyer. Chamberlain was also a lifelong bachelor and became notorious for his statement of having had sexual relations with as many as 20,000 women.
Oscar Palmer Robertson, nicknamed "the Big O", is an American former professional basketball player who played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Robertson played point guard and was a 12-time All-Star, 11-time member of the All-NBA Team, and one-time winner of the MVP award in 14 seasons. In 1962, he became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season. In the 1970–71 NBA season, he was a key player on the team that brought the Bucks their first NBA title. His playing career, especially during high school and college, was plagued by racism.
John Houston Stockton is an American former professional basketball player. Regarded as one of the greatest point guards, players and passers of all time, he spent his entire NBA career (1984–2003) with the Utah Jazz, and the team made the playoffs in each of his 19 seasons. In 1997 and 1998, together with his longtime teammate Karl Malone, Stockton led the Jazz to the franchise's only two NBA Finals appearances, both of which were lost to the Chicago Bulls.
Paul Joseph Arizin, nicknamed "'Pitchin Paul", was an American basketball player who spent his entire National Basketball Association (NBA) career with the Philadelphia Warriors from 1950 to 1962. He retired with the third highest career point total (16,266) in NBA history, and was named to the NBA's 25th, 50th and 75th anniversary teams. He was a high-scoring forward at Villanova University before being drafted by the Warriors of the fledgling NBA.
Jerome Alan West is an American basketball executive and former player. He played professionally for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames included "Mr. Clutch", for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation, such as his famous buzzer-beating 60-foot shot that tied Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks; "the Logo", in reference to his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo; "Mr. Outside", in reference to his perimeter play with the Los Angeles Lakers; and "Zeke from Cabin Creek", for the creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia. West played the small forward position early in his career, and he was a standout at East Bank High School and at West Virginia University, where he led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game. He earned the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honor despite the loss. He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, a squad that was inducted as a unit into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German former professional basketball player who is a special advisor for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Listed at 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m), he is widely regarded as one of the greatest power forwards of all time and is considered by many to be the greatest European player of all time. In 2021, he was selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
Julius Winfield Erving II, commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is an American former professional basketball player. Erving helped legitimize the American Basketball Association (ABA), and he was the best-known player in that league when it merged into the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the 1975–1976 season.
Elgin Gay Baylor was an American professional basketball player, coach, and executive. He played 14 seasons as a forward in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers. Baylor was a gifted shooter, a strong rebounder, and an accomplished passer, who was best known for his trademark hanging jump shot. The No. 1 draft pick in 1958, NBA Rookie of the Year in 1959, 11-time NBA All-Star, and a 10-time member of the All-NBA first team, Baylor is regarded as one of the game's all-time greatest players. In 1977, Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1996, Baylor was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. In October 2021, Baylor was again honored as one of the league's greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team.
Karl Anthony Malone is an American former professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed "the Mailman", he is considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. Malone spent his first 18 seasons (1985–2003) in the NBA with the Utah Jazz and formed a formidable duo with his teammate John Stockton. He was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, a 14-time NBA All-Star, and an 11-time member of the All-NBA first team. His 36,928 career points scored rank third all-time in NBA history behind LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and he holds the records for most free throws attempted and made, in addition to being tied for the second-most first-team All-NBA selections with Kobe Bryant and behind LeBron James.
Gary Dwayne Payton Sr. is an American former professional basketball player who played the point guard position. Widely considered one of the greatest point guards of all time, he is best known for his 13-year tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics, where he holds franchise records in assists and steals. He also played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat. Payton won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2006. Nicknamed "the Glove" for his defensive abilities, Payton was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. In October 2021, Payton was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
Robert Lee Pettit Jr. is an American former professional basketball player. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, all with the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks (1954–1965). In 1956, he became the first recipient of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award and he won the award again in 1959. He also won the NBA All-Star Game MVP award four times.
Franklin Delano Selvy is an American former National Basketball Association (NBA) player who is best known for holding the record for the most points (100) in a Division I college basketball game. Born in Corbin, Kentucky, Selvy was an All-State basketball player at Corbin High School and was a teammate of College Football Hall of Fame inductee Roy Kidd. Selvy was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1954 NBA draft and was a two-time NBA All-Star, playing nine seasons.
In basketball, a block or blocked shot occurs when a defensive player legally deflects a field goal attempt from an offensive player to prevent a score. The defender is not allowed to make contact with the offensive player's hand or a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur while the shot is traveling upward or at its apex. A deflected field goal that is made does not count as a blocked shot and simply counts as a successful field goal attempt for shooter plus the points awarded to the shooting team. For the shooter, a blocked shot is counted as a missed field goal attempt. Also, on a shooting foul, a blocked shot cannot be awarded or counted, even if the player who deflected the field goal attempt is different from the player who committed the foul. If the ball is heading downward when the defender hits it, it is ruled as goaltending and counts as a made basket. Goaltending is also called if the block is made after the ball bounces on the backboard.
Rickey Green is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
In basketball, a steal occurs when a defensive player legally causes a turnover by their positive, aggressive action(s). This can be done by deflecting and controlling, or by catching the opponent's pass or dribble of an offensive player. The defender must not touch the offensive player's hands or otherwise a foul is called.
In basketball, a rebound, sometimes colloquially referred to as a board, is a statistic awarded to a player who retrieves the ball after a missed field goal or free throw.
This glossary of basketball terms is a list of definitions of terms used in the game of basketball. Like any other major sport, basketball features its own extensive vocabulary of unique words and phrases used by players, coaches, sports journalists, commentators, and fans.
William Quinn Buckner is an American former professional basketball player and coach. He played collegiate basketball for the Indiana University Hoosiers, and won a national championship in 1976. He was a captain of both the last undefeated NCAA Division I basketball champion and the 1976 Olympics gold medal team. Buckner was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 7th pick of the 1976 NBA draft. He had a ten-year NBA career for three teams. In 1984, he won an NBA title with the Celtics.
Basketball is a ball game and team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules. Since being developed by James Naismith as a non-contact game that almost anyone can play, basketball has undergone many different rule variations, eventually evolving into the NBA-style game known today. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.
The 2020–21 Phoenix Suns season was their 53rd season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as their 28th season at the Phoenix Suns Arena, which is their first and only season under that name after Talking Stick Resort lost their naming rights to the arena by November 6, 2020. The Suns achieved their first winning season since the 2013–14 season after a 134–106 win over the Washington Wizards on April 10, 2021. The Suns then clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2010 following a 109–101 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on April 28, 2021. They also clinched the Pacific Division for the first time since 2007. They finished 51–21, with a winning percentage equivalent to 58 wins in a full 82-game season.