Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers’ Russell Westbrook Passes Gary Payton On All-Time Assists List
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook continues his climb up the record list, as he passed Gary Payton for 10th on the NBA’s all-time assists list during the Lakers loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.
Westbrook now has 8,972 career assists, passing Payton’s 8,966, and expressed his gratitude following the game.
“If somebody had told me 15 years ago, 20 years ago that you’d be top 10 in assists, I’d look at them like they was crazy,” Westbrook said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “In the NBA, never dreamt of being in this position, nor getting to the point to where I’m next to some of the greats. I’m just truly grateful and thankful for an opportunity to keep playing at the highest level and I don’t take any of that for granted.”
Westbrook was asked if he had any trash talk for the legendary Payton, who was also known for his stellar defense and trash talking skills.
“I’m pretty sure whatever I would say, he would be talking right back,” Westbrook said. “I’m not a big trash-talker, I just like to compete. But I’m pretty sure back in his day, he would have talked some mess, and I’d be right back at him.”
“Everybody gave him an applause. That’s a hell of a feat,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said. “But again, we play the right way things like that are going to happen. Eventually Bron is going to eclipse the scoring record and Russ just moved into the top 10 of all-time assists leaders. Those things are great. Those are huge shots in the arm for our franchise and for those guys and for us as a team, those guys individually.
“But again, just we have to come out and play.”
The Lakers fell to 23-28 following the loss.
“I mean we’ve seen it when we’re able to play the right way, and we know what it takes,” Westbrook said. “It’s just really up to us honestly.”