Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo has passed Michael Jordan today on the all-time list of the NBA’s best passers in the playoffs.
With 59.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter of the Western Conference Finals opener against the Denver Nuggets, Rondo threw a bounce pass from the corner to Anthony Davis, stationed beneath the Nuggets’ basket. Davis threw down a two-handed slam, providing a special moment for his teammate.
It was Rondo’s seventh assist of the night, and the 1,023rd in the nine postseasons he has played in his career. He eclipsed the game’s icon Michael Jordan (1,022) in the tenth place, and then added two more assists, finishing the game with nine. He is now only 15 dimes short of the late Kobe Bryant’s career mark of 1,040.
During the postgame press conference, Rondo was asked what his latest achievement meant to him.
“It just means I played with a lot of great players. I can’t take a lot of credit. Even though my job is to get guys the ball, at the end of the day you don’t complete an assist if those guys don’t put it in the basket. I’ve been in the game a long time, played with a lot of great players, and those guys have made me look pretty good,” replied Rondo.
Former Laker great Magic Johnson tops the all-time list with 2,346 assists. He also has the best average per game (12.3 APG), Utah Jazz legend John Stockton is second (10.1 APG), and Rondo is third averaging 9.2 dishes per game.
During his fourteen years in the league, the well-traveled Rondo, 34, has made the playoffs with five different teams: the Boston Celtics (five times), the Chicago Bulls, the Dallas Mavericks, the New Orleans Pelicans, and his current team, the Lakers – one time with each franchise.
On May 4, 2018, as a Pelican, Rondo posted his single best passing performance in the playoffs.
New Orleans hosted the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, and beat them 119-100 as Rondo dished out 21 assists, his personal playoff record.
It was the home team’s sole victory in the series as the Warriors went on to win 4-1 and eventually clinched the NBA title, their third in four years.