CLEVELAND (AP) — Make room, Big O.
LeBron James joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to rank in the Top 25 in points and assists.
With his fifth assist Monday night against Orlando, James pulled into the elite company of Robertson, the legendary “Big O,” who finished with 26,710 points and 9,887 assists. James entered the game needing 21 points to pass Reggie Miller (25,279) for 18th on the career scoring list. Robertson is 11th.
James reached the milestone with 5:00 left in the second quarter. The Cavaliers’ star drove the lane, jumped and made a quick pass into the corner to Kevin Love, who knocked down a 3-pointer. It moved James past Norm Nixon (6,386) for 25th on the assist list.
Before the game, Magic coach Scott Skiles, who holds the NBA record with 30 assists in a game, said James is more like Robertson and Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan, the player with whom he is most often compared.
“Every time there’s a young great player everybody talks about Michael, but to me he’s always been more like a Magic (Johnson) or an Oscar-type player because of his vision,” Skiles said. “That’s what makes it so difficult. If you think you’re going to give him a steady diet of running and double teaming him, he’s going to carve you up. He’s going to find everybody, find the open man.”
Skiles marvels at how James can take over any game.
“The really great players play at the pace they want to play at in the game,” Skiles said. “It could be fast for a while. It could be kind of slow for a while. It could be they’re in the post. It could be they run pick and rolls. It’s very, very difficult to get them out of their pace. There are a lot of talented guys that can’t go all the way into that upper echelon because they haven’t quite got that part mastered – but he does.
“He’s going to play the game the way he wants to play it, but his vision certainly sets him apart from a lot of the great players.”