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LeBron passes Pippen for most NBA assists by a forward

February 25, 2015

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (AP) — LeBron James rarely likes to talk about his individual achievements. He made an exception on Tuesday.

James had 11 assists in Cleveland’s 102-93 victory over the Detroit Pistons. In the process, he moved past Scottie Pippen for first place on the NBA career list for forwards. James has 6,142 assists, seven more than Pippen.

“That means a tremendous amount to me,” James said. “It means a lot more than passing Allen Iverson on the scoring list in the last game, because I have always taken so much pride in my passing game. To me, the greatest rush has always been helping my teammates succeed, not succeeding myself.”

James wears No. 23 in Michael Jordan’s honor, but breaking Pippen’s record was special in another sense.

“When I grew up, I loved Michael, but when you are a kid, you don’t think you can grow up and be Michael Jordan,” he said. “I patterned a lot of my game after Scottie Pippen, because he was the kind of star I thought I could be. So that’s a great feeling to break a record he owns.”

Cavaliers coach David Blatt didn’t know James reached the milestone, but was excited to find out.

“That’s a fabulous achievement, especially when you considered that he just turned 30 years old,” Blatt said. “It not only proves his greatness as a player, it shows the ability he has to make the players around him equally great.”

Many of James’ assists, including the record-breaker in the second quarter, giving him 6,136 to pass Pippen, found Kevin Love wide open behind the arc. Love had 24 points on eight 3-pointers, tying his career best.

“Kevin had it going tonight, so I was looking to get him the ball,” James said. “That’s how we play. Find the hot guy and keep him going.”

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