LeBron becomes Cavs' assist leader

ByDave McMenamin ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

DALLAS -- LeBron James' legacy with the Cleveland Cavaliers will always be complicated because of his decision to go to Miamibut his statistical impact on the franchise is unmistakable.

James stamped his name in the Cavs' record books once again on Tuesday, passing Mark Price for the franchise lead in assists, dishing out his 4,207th while wearing a Cleveland uniform.

The 12-year veteran set the mark by finding James Jones for a 3-pointer with 10:14 remaining in the second quarter of the Cavs' 127-94 win over the Dallas Mavericks

After tying Price in assists in the Cavs' 89-79 win over Phoenix on Saturday, James joked he was content staying tied with the former sharpshooter for good.

"I'm not passing for the rest of the year," James said after practice Monday. "I want to stay right there with Mark Price. I'm staying right there with the legend. I'm not passing again."

Price averaged 6.7 assists per game for his career. James averages 6.9.

Earlier this season, James also passed Price for the all-time franchise lead in 3-pointers made.

Before the game, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle was asked to compare James to players from his era and evoked the names of four all-time greats in Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Julius Erving and Magic Johnson.

"LeBron's got the same abilities and skills as all those guys," Carlisle said. "He's just a total combination. He can play the point, the 2, the 3 and the 4 and he certainly can play the 5 if you're going to put four other smaller guys and him out there."

James was asked on Monday to relay how his mentality as a pass-first player was developed.

"It just comes from my little league coaches who always preached 'no I in team' and no matter how good one individual is, in order to win championships you have to do as a team and everyone has to be involved," James said. "It started from my little league coach in Frank Walker, to my AAU coach, and Coach Dru Joyce and all the way in between there. They just taught the game the right way.

"And then for some odd reason, I've always loved the success of my teammates more than myself. I've always been like that since I was a kid. Even when I first started playing basketball, we had a kid named Sonny on our team that was younger than all of us and he couldn't catch. So, in order for him to catch we used to roll the ball to him so he could pick it up and shoot it off the ground. And when he finally made one, it was like the greatest thing for all of us. And I'll always remember that. So, it just came natural."

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