Word on the Street

Assist (uh-sist) noun. A pass to a teammate who scores a basket immediately or after one dribble.

Usage example: “John Stockton is the all time leader in assists. He could find his man, even with his eyes closed.”

Word history: In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that he or she was “assisting” in the basket. 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. 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.

The NBA single-game assist record is 30, held by Scott Skiles of the Orlando Magic against the Denver Nuggets, on December 30, 1990.

The NBA record for most career assists is held by John Stockton with 15,806.

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Labels: John Stockton / Scott Skiles / Denver Nuggets / Orlando Magic / NBA / Word on the Street

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