Houston Rockets moment #15: Harden becomes Rockets’ assist leader
James Harden’s reputation is characterized in bulk by his all-time great level of scoring ability. Though it is easily the way in which he stands out most, it would be wrong to overlook what a gifted passer and creator he is as well.
In December of 2019, Harden became the leader in total assists of any player in Houston Rockets franchise history. The night of the 19th against the Clippers in his hometown of Los Angeles, Harden tallied his 4,403rd assist as a Houston Rocket, surpassing the great Calvin Murphy.
Harden will not be bested in this regard anytime soon, as the next nine players on the Rockets’ assist list are all retired. It could be decades before we see another Rocket total more assists in Houston than The Beard.
Six of Harden’s eight season’s in Houston saw him averaging at least 7 assists per game, even being the league leader in dimes with 11.2 per game in the 2016-17 season. These numbers have come despite three years being spent alongside other elite point guards such as Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.
It is not the most significant or flashy of moments in Harden’s Houston Rockets career, but it represents that his enormous mark on the franchise was achieved in areas outside of just scoring the ball.
Next: No. 14