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Key to LeBron James’ longevity isn’t passing fancy

LOS ANGELES — As he scanned the NBA’s all-time assists list, Jason Kidd quickly realized something. The Los Angeles Lakers’ assistant coach believes LeBron James can surpass him for No. 2 on the list.

“I’m all for it. That means guys are making shots,” Kidd told USA TODAY Sports. “That’s why I hope I’m in play.”

Will that be in play?

In his 17th NBA season, James ranks No. 8 on the  all-time assists list (9,213), trailing only Chris Paul (9,530), Oscar Robertson (9,887), Magic Johnson (10,141), Mark Jackson (10,334), Steve Nash (10,335), Kidd (12,091) and John Stockton (15,806). As a former opposing player,opposing coach and current assistant, Kidd has seen James make countless highlight reels involving cross-court passes, no-look passes and simple bounce passes. But Kidd conceded, “as talented as he is, No. 1 is not in play.”

James, who will play in his 17th NBA All-Star game Sunday in Chicago partly because he has averaged a career-high 10.8 assists per game, would have to play at least eight more seasons to surpass Stockton’s record. That projection is based on James maintaining his current averages and playing all 82 games for the rest of his career.

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Brett Gonzalez
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