Can You Identify These NBA Icons With the Most Assists per Game in a Single Season?

By: Gavin Thagard

Can You Identify These NBA Icons With the Most Assists per Game in a Single Season?
Image: Wiki Commons by Keith Allison

About This Quiz

There's something special about NBA players who can dish out passes at an elite level, especially when it comes to the ones who get inventive with their passes, throwing the ball between defenders' legs or behind their own backs. The greatest passers seem to have eyes in the back of their heads, as they can find teammates without even looking in their direction. It becomes quite the show, and many teams have even been defined by a player's willingness to pass up the ball. If you need evidence, look at the Los Angeles Lakers of the '80s.

Assist totals are usually led by point guards, who operate from the backcourt. It's not surprising, as point guards tend to be the floor generals who carry the ball up the court and set up the offense. When a play goes into motion, a point guard either finds a big man down low or a shooter on the outside. Of course, the other positions are capable of dishing out passes, but the point guard holds assists as their primary responsibility. 

Are you ready to identify the players who were willing to pass up the ball for open looks? From legends of the past to icons today, this quiz covers the top assists per game leaders throughout NBA history. When you're ready, get started and see if you can get a passing score.

1-John Stockton-Edit This player had several seasons where he was at the top of the league in assists per game, which is why he's the NBA's all-time assists leader. Who is he?
Kevin Porter
John Stockton
John Stockton can credit many of assists to playing beside Karl Malone, another Hall of Fame player who was known as "The Mailman" because he always delivered passes from Stockton to the basket. Together, they reached the NBA Finals twice but never won a championship.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Steve Nash

Advertisement

2-Isiah Thomas Can you identify this NBA icon who was recognized as the ultimate team leader during his playing days?
Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas was a two-time champion and leader of the "Bad Boy" Pistons in the late '80s and early '90s. Thomas was the prototypical point guard, always making the right play and setting up teammates in positions to get easy points.
Rajon Rondo
Chris Paul
Kevin Johnson

Advertisement

4-Magic Johnson What's the name of this former superstar who gave fans a show anytime he was on the court?
Nate "Tiny" Archibald
Norm Nixon
Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Earvin "Magic" Johnson was such a big star that he could even put on a show against the best players in the league in the All-Star Game. He sits atop the list of career assists in the All-Star Game, racking up 127 throughout his career.
Andre Miller

Advertisement

5-Rondo Do you recognize this player who put up nearly 12 assists per game in his prime?
James Harden
Jason Kidd
Rajon Rondo
Though he was a young player at the time, Rajon Rondo was a major reason the Boston Celtics won the NBA championship in 2008. His ability to pass shined that entire season, as he set up players like Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce with open looks.
Russell Westbrook

Advertisement

6-Steve Nash Few NBA icons could humiliate a defender with a pass as well as which player depicted in this image?
Steve Nash
Steve Nash's passing ability helped him win back to back NBA MVPs in 2005 and 2006. Nash scored less than 20 points per game both seasons, but his assist total was over 10 per game.
Guy Rodgers
Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues
John Lucas

Advertisement

7-Chris Paul A star known for outsmarting his competition on both ends of the court, who is this?
Norm Nixon
Deron Williams
Tim Hardaway
Chris Paul
When Chris Paul joined the Los Angeles Clippers, his passing ability paired with the dunking skills of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan helped the team earn the nickname "Lob City." They were a fun team to watch, and Paul's leadership on the floor was a major reason for it.

Advertisement

8-Oscar-Edit He was the first player to average a triple-double for a season. How well do you know him?
John Wall
Oscar Robertson
Playing from 1960 through 1974, Oscar Robertson led the league in assists six times. His highest assists per game total came in the 1964-65 season when he dished out 11.5 assists per game.
Rod Strickland
Michael Adams

Advertisement

9-Mark Johnson Are you familiar with this player who had his highest assist total during a season when he was traded from Denver to Indiana?
Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson wasn't the greatest scorer on the teams he played for, but he was always there to help his teammates rack up points. When he joined the Indiana Pacers in 1994, he was paired with Reggie Miller, a lethal shooting guard who could hit shots from all over the court.
Andre Miller
Michael Adams
Eric "Sleepy" Floyd

Advertisement

10-Nate Archibald-Edit To lead the league in assists and points per game for a season is a tough task, but that's exactly what the player shown here was able to do in the 1972-73 season.
Deron Williams
Norm Van Lier
Michael Ray Richardson
Nate "Tiny" Archibald
Nate "Tiny" Archibald had the ability to explode off the dribble to get around defenders to score points. However, whenever he couldn't maneuver around a defender, he always had the awareness to get the ball out to a teammate for a better shot.

Advertisement

11-Guy Rodgers Select the name of this point guard who was one of the greatest players in the NBA throughout the '60s.
Terry Porter
Guy Rodgers
Guy Rodgers was a four-time All-Star during his time in the NBA. He made his first three All-Star Games playing for the San Francisco Warriors and his final All-Star Game in his lone season with the Chicago Bulls.
Gary Grant
Glenn "Doc" Rivers

Advertisement

12-James Harden An elite scorer who can also dish out assists, what's the name of this superstar?
Johnny Moore
Jerry West
James Harden
James Harden's offensive numbers really started to explode when he was given full control of the offense for the Houston Rockets. This often means the ball is in his hands for most of a game, which takes a toll on his body, but his production has certainly benefited from it.
Avery Johnson

Advertisement

13-Norm Nixon This player won two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers before going on to play for the Clippers when they moved to California. Who is he?
Michael Adams
Norm Van Lier
Terry Porter
Norm Nixon
Norm Nixon was one of the players who made the early "Showtime" Lakers such an exciting team when they were clicking on all cylinders. During this time, he shared ball-handling responsibilities with Earvin "Magic" Johnson, as the two created a magnificent passing backcourt.

Advertisement

14-Andre Miller Can you identify this former player who dished out dime passes for several teams during his lengthy NBA career?
Reggie Theus
Andre Miller
Andre Miller was always a balanced player on the court, but he really shined during his third season in the league. Playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miller scored 16.5 points per game and led the league with 10.9 assists per game.
Ty Lawson
Johnny Moore

Advertisement

15-J.Kidd One of the most consistent stars in NBA history, who is this Hall of Famer?
Lenny Wilkens
Tim Hardaway
Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd was a walking triple-double anytime he suited up for a game. When he retired in 2013, he had racked up 107 career triple-doubles, which ranked him third on the all-time triple-double list.
Bob Cousy

Advertisement

16-Westbrook Is this superstar, known for having a motor that never stops running, familiar to you?
Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season more than once in his career, which he has done on three occasions. 2016-17 was the first season he recorded a triple-double for a season, putting up 31.6 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Damian Lillard
Kyrie Irving
Stephen Curry

Advertisement

17-Mugsy The short stature of which player depicted in this image didn't slow him down from racking up assists?
Kenny Anderson
John Bagley
Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues
Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues played most of his career with the Charlotte Hornets, joining the team in 1988 and leaving in 1997 via trade. In two of his seasons with the Hornets, Bogues dished out 10.7 assists per game.
Scott Skiles

Advertisement

18-John Lucas Do you recognize this player who started and ended his career setting up teammates for the Houston Rockets?
Avery Johnson
John Lucas
John Lucas had one of his best years in the NBA in his lone season with the San Antonio Spurs in 1983-84. That year, Lucas put up a double-double with 10.9 points and 10.7 assists per game.
Trae Young
Damon Stoudamire

Advertisement

19-Deron Williams How well do you know this icon who used his passing skills to win two gold medals outside the NBA?
Gary Grant
Nate McMillan
Rickey Green
Deron Williams
Deron Williams averaged over 10 assists per game in a season four times in his NBA career. He even had one stint in 2011, right after he was traded to the New Jersey Nets, where he dished out 47 assists in only three games.

Advertisement

20-John Wall If not for injuries the past few seasons, this player would still be dishing out dime passes. Who is he?
John Wall
John Wall has spent much of his career injured since the 2016-17 season. Prior to the injuries, Wall had three straight seasons where he racked up over 10 assists per game, and he hasn't had a major drop off since then when he's actually been healthy.
Dwyane Wade
Gilbert Arenas
Joe Johnson

Advertisement

21-Tim Hardaway Double-doubles from assists and points weren't uncommon from which player shown here?
Tim Hardaway
Tim Hardaway was a point guard who liked to score, and he did that quite effectively with the crossover dribble. However, when this didn't work, he knew how to get the ball where it needed to go for an easy score.
Lenny Wilkens
Rickey Green
Maurice Cheeks

Advertisement

22-Rod Strickland Pick the correct name of this player who had his best assist total in the 1997-98 season.
Mark Price
Nick Van Excel
Sam Cassell
Rod Strickland
Rod Strickland didn't have much playoff success throughout his career, but not because he didn't show up to play. Strickland knew how to step up his game in the playoffs, increasing both his scoring total and assist total in the biggest moments.

Advertisement

23-Adams What's the name of this point guard who missed out on an All-Star selection when he put up over 10 assists per game?
Jerry West
Michael Adams
An injury hampered Michael Adams' 1990-91 season with the Denver Nuggets, as he only played in 66 games. However, he was stellar when he was on the court that year, as he averaged 26.5 points and 10.5 assists per game.
Avery Johnson
Reggie Theus

Advertisement

24-Floyd Are you familiar with this player who had his best seasons with the Golden State Warriors in the '80s?
Bob Cousy
Gary Payton
Eric "Sleepy" Floyd
For people who knew Eric "Sleepy" Floyd in grade school, they never would have thought he would be the one who made it to the NBA. After all, he got his nickname, "Sleepy," during this time because he appeared to be asleep while in the middle of a baseball game.
Brevin Knight

Advertisement

25-Norm Van Lier-Edit Can you identify this two-way icon who could dish out dimes and get back down the court to play defense?
Ricky Rubio
LeBron James
Rickey Green
Norm Van Lier
Norm Van Lier was a three-time All-Star in the '70s, all with the Chicago Bulls. During the three seasons he was selected to the All-Star Game, Van Lier was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Advertisement

26-Micheal Ray Richardson Despite a short career in the NBA due to policy violations, this player still had some stellar seasons when it came to assist totals. Do you know him?
Scottie Pippen
Micheal Ray Richardson
After being selected with the fourth pick in the 1978 NBA Draft, it took Micheal Ray Richardson one season to adjust to the league. However, in his second season, he proved his star potential, racking up 15.3 points and 10.1 assists per game.
Otis Birdsong
Bernard King

Advertisement

27-Gary Grant A point guard who was nicknamed "The General" because of his leadership, is this a player you're familiar with?
Roy Tarpley
Stephon Marbury
Gary Grant
Gary Grant spent most of his professional career playing for the Los Angeles Clippers, who received his draft rights from the Seattle SuperSonics shortly after the 1988 NBA Draft took place. He stayed with the Clippers until 1995.
Baron Davis

Advertisement

28-Doc Rivers The elite mind of which player depicted here served him well when he went into coaching after leaving the NBA?
Glenn "Doc" Rivers
Glenn "Doc" Rivers was a one-time NBA All-Star, which he made in 1988 playing for the Atlanta Hawks. That season, he played beside Dominique Wilkins, one of the best finishers at the rim in NBA history.
Jerry West
Phil Ford
Reggie Theus

Advertisement

29-Moore Did you ever watch this player as he defined his career setting up teammates for the San Antonio Spurs in the '80s?
Jose Calderon
Johnny Moore
Except for one game he played for the New Jersey Nets, Johnny Moore spent his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs, where he served primarily as their starting point guard. He reached the playoffs five times with the Spurs, including both his first and last seasons in the league.
Bob Cousy
Terrell Brandon

Advertisement

30-Mookie How well do you know this player who could steal the ball then pass it forward to a teammate for an easy score?
Daron "Mookie" Blaylock
Though he was an adequate point guard who could set up teammates, Daron "Mookie" Blaylock focused most of his energy on the defensive side of the ball. During his career, he averaged 2.3 steals per game, which earned him six NBA All-Defensive selections.
Derek Harper
Dana Barros
Alvin Robertson

Advertisement

31-Jerry West-Edit One of the most recognized names in NBA history, who is this dominant point guard?
Bill Russell
Wilt Chamberlain
Jerry West
With several NBA Finals appearances and losses, Jerry West became the only player in league history to earn a Finals MVP while shooting hoops for the losing team. That honor came in 1969 when he put up 37.9 points and 7.4 assists per game.
Sam Jones

Advertisement

32-Avery Johnson Do you recognize this gifted passer who spent 16 years in the NBA?
Allen Iverson
David Thompson
Tim Duncan
Avery Johnson
Avery Johnson has always been a student of the game, one of the reasons he was so great at point guard during his playing days. When he finished his playing career, Johnson went into coaching, and, most recently, coached at the University of Alabama.

Advertisement

33-Reggie Theus-Edit This point guard had his best season in terms of assists when he followed the Kings from Kansas City to Sacramento. Who is he?
Reggie Theus
Reggie Theus started his career strong playing for the Chicago Bulls. In his rookie year, Theus was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team after he racked up 16.3 points and 5.2 assists per game.
Andre Miller
Dwyane Wade
Artis Gilmore

Advertisement

34-Ty Lawson Select the correct name of this NBA player who was a first-round draft pick after winning a national championship in college.
Brandon Jennings
Raymond Felton
Ty Lawson
Before joining the NBA in 2009, Ty Lawson had a stellar college career at North Carolina. In his final season with the Tar Heels, Lawson won the NCAA championship and was named an All-American.
Bradley Beal

Advertisement

35-Lenny Wilkens-Edit What's the name of this nine-time NBA All-Star who walked away with the All-Star Game MVP in 1971?
Jack Sikma
Gus Williams
Chauncey Billups
Lenny Wilkens
Lenny Wilkens played for the Seattle SuperSonics from 1968 through 1972 and served as the head coach of the team from 1969 through 1972. He returned as the head coach in 1977, after he retired, leading the team to an NBA title in 1979.

Advertisement

36-Anderson In only his second NBA season, which player shown in this image was already putting up over eight assists per game?
Gary Payton
Kenny Anderson
Kenny Anderson made his lone All-Star Game in 1994, the same season he had his highest assists per game total. That year, he not only put up 9.6 assists per game but also added in 18.8 points per game.
Sherman Douglas
Don Buse

Advertisement

37-Bob Cousy-Edit Are you familiar with this all-time great champion who was an eight-time NBA assists leader?
Bob Pettit
Bob Cousy
Considering he was playing beside some of the greatest players of his era, it's no wonder Bob Cousy led the league in assists eight times in his career. For his value to his team, the Boston Celtics retired Cousy's jersey number.
John Havlicek
Bill Russell

Advertisement

38-John Bagley Can you identify this player who became a starter when his coaches realized how easily he could get shots for his teammates?
Robert Pack
Don Buse
John Bagley
While in the middle of his prime, John Bagley played beside a young Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls. When an injury took Jordan off the court in his second season, Bagley had to step up, and he did just that, putting up the highest assists per game total of his career.
Nick Van Exel

Advertisement

39-scott skiles A point guard who once put up 30 assists in one game, is this a player you recognize?
Scott Skiles
Scott Skiles' 30 assists in one game remains an NBA record. He accomplished the feat on Dec. 30, 1990, while playing for the Orlando Magic against the Denver Nuggets. The Magic crushed the Nuggets 155-116 in that game.
Jameer Nelson
Jason Williams
Gus Williams

Advertisement

40-Damon How familiar are you with this player who came into the league dishing out assists as a rookie?
Gary Payton
Brevin Knight
Sam Cassell
Damon Stoudamire
Damon Stoudamire averaged the highest assists per game total of his career during his rookie season, putting up 9.3 assists per game. For his play as a rookie, he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Advertisement

You Got:
/39

Featured