Suns’ Chris Paul becomes first player in NBA history with 20,000 points and 10,000 assists
Paul finished with 23 points and 14 assists in the Suns’ win
The Phoenix Suns took on the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night in a rematch of their first-round playoff series from last season. Things went the same way they did this summer, as the Suns led by as much as 32 in the second half and cruised to a 115-105 win.
Chris Paul led the way, finishing with 23 points and 14 assists in another masterful performance. In the process, he created a brand new section in the record books by becoming the first player in NBA history to record 20,000 career points and 10,000 assists.
In the middle of the second quarter, Paul got to the line and knocked down the first free throw to reach 20,000 points and become the 47th player to reach that benchmark. He had already taken care of the assists, and is fifth on the all-time list for that category with 10,299.
None of the other players in the 10,000-assist club — John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson — have been able to match Paul’s scoring. Stockton was the only one who came close at 19,711 career points. Even more impressive is that Paul has played fewer games than everyone else in that group save for Johnson, so it’s not a case of simply racking up stats through longevity. (It’s worth noting that LeBron James should soon join Paul in this club, but still needs 294 more assists.)
Paul long ago established himself as one of the best point guards to ever play the game, which is why he was one of 11 active players named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team earlier this week. Making history in this fashion only further entrenches Paul as a rich part of this game’s history.
Chris Paul first player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points and 10,000 assists
Paul sets a statistical standard of scoring and passing that has never before been achieved in 75 years of NBA action.
Named one of the greatest 75 players in NBA history earlier this week, Suns guard Chris Paul became Friday the league’s only player to reach an impressive double-milestone:
With a second-quarter free throw against the Los Angeles Lakers, Paul stood alone among those to reach 20,000 career points and 10,000 assists. The 11-time All-Star ranks fifth all-time in assists and is the 47th player to reach the 20,000-point plateau.
— NBA (@NBA) October 23, 2021
Prior to Paul, fellow 75th Anniversary Team member Oscar Robertson was the closest to crack the 20,000/10,000 barrier, ultimately coming up short with 9,887 assists. John Stockton, another 75th Anniversary honoree, also came close with 19,711 points.
An All-NBA Second Team selection last season, Paul is fresh off a Finals appearance with the Suns, a franchise he helped revitalize after a 10-year playoff drought. The 36-year-old re-signed with Phoenix this offseason for a reported four years and $120 million this offseason, though the latter portion of that contract is reportedly not fully guaranteed.
Christopher Emmanuel Paul (born May 6, 1985), nicknamed “CP3”, is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Playing the point guard position, he has won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, an NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, two Olympic gold medals, and led the NBA in assists four times and steals a record six times. He has also been selected to eleven NBA All-Star teams, ten All-NBA teams, and nine NBA All-Defensive teams. In 2021, Paul was included in the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
Paul was a McDonald’s All-American in high school before attending Wake Forest University for two years of college basketball, where he helped the Demon Deacons achieve their first-ever number-one ranking. He was selected fourth overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets, where he developed into one of the league’s premier players, finishing second in NBA Most Valuable Player Award voting in 2008. During the 2011 off-season, the Hornets organized a deal to send Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, but the transaction was controversially voided by the NBA (who was acting as the owner of the Hornets). He was instead dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers later that year. Led by Paul’s playmaking, the Clippers developed a reputation for their fast-paced offense and spectacular alley-oop dunks, earning them the nickname “Lob City.” In 2017, he was traded to the Houston Rockets and helped the team win a franchise-record 65 games in his debut season there. He played one more season in Houston before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a package for Russell Westbrook in 2019. Paul’s only season in Oklahoma City earned him his 10th All-Star appearance. With the Thunder looking to rebuild, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 2020. The next year, he reached the NBA Finals for the first time in his career with Phoenix, where they were defeated in six games by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Paul served as the president of the National Basketball Players Association from August 2013 to August 2021. Among the highest-paid athletes in the world, he holds endorsement deals with companies such as Air Jordan and State Farm.
Awards and honors
- 11× NBA All-Star: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020, 2021
- 10× All-NBA Team:
- First Team: 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014
- Second Team: 2009, 2015, 2016, 2020, 2021
- Third Team: 2011
- 9× NBA All-Defensive Team:
- First Team: 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Second Team: 2008, 2011
- NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award: 2013
- NBA Rookie of the Year: 2006
- NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2006
- First team consensus All-American: 2005
- No. 3 retired by Wake Forest
- 2× All-ACC Team
- All-ACC First Team: 2005
- All-ACC Third Team: 2004
- All-ACC Defensive Team: 2004
- All-ACC Freshman Team: 2004
- ACC Rookie of the Year: 2004
- All-ACC Tournament Second Team: 2004
- United States national team