Russell Westbrook reacts to passing Isiah Thomas in all-time assists

LOS ANGELES – Russell Westbrook made history during the third quarter of Saturday afternoon’s game between the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks. Westbrook dished his third assist of the night, and number 9,062 of his career, passing Hall-of-Famer Isiah Thomas for ninth on the NBA’s All-Time Assists list.

“Honestly, I’m truly grateful,” Westbrook said after the Clippers win. “I give all my thanks to to the men above for allowing me blessing me with talents to be able play the game for a long period of time.”

Russell Westbrook came into Saturday’s contest needing just two assists to tie Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas. He passed Gary Payton to climb into the top 10 earlier this season. At 9,062 assists, Westbrook sits well behind No. 8 ranked Oscar Robertson, who dished out 9,887 assists in his NBA career.

“Obviously being on that list, it’s great,” Russell Westbrook added of passing Isiah Thomas. “I think just as a point guard like myself and the different conversations that I’ve had to overcome over my career to be in the assists side of is a special thing.”

Paul George was full of praise for Westbrook, who he said belongs in the conversation with some of the best players of all time.

“Hall of Famer, one of the best point guards, ever,” George said. “Not one player, I think, you could say that Russ is comparable to it. He’s just kind of made his own lane and been special in that lane. He’s up there with the greats. He’s in conversations with the best to ever do it. Just give credit where credit is due.”

Russell Westbrook says he didn’t necessarily model his game after any

“I looked at different people and seen what they’re great at and try to do everything and that’s type of player I am. I want to be great at everything, whether it’s rebounding, scoring, passing, defending, being a great leader, having a high basketball IQ. I feel like I’m a very well-versed basketball player. And I’ve been, you know, trying to strive myself on doing that consistently, which I’ve done and I’m grateful to be able to do that. That’s kind of my outlook and approach.”

The Clippers were able to win their third consecutive game following a five-game losing streak coming out of the All-Star break. With wins over the Grizzlies, Raptors, and Knicks, the team improved to 36-33 on the season, maintaining their lead for the fifth overall seed in the Western Conference.

Slowly but surely, Russell Westbrook is showing an increased level of comfortability and rhythm with his new teammates as well as the new system he’s in.

“Honestly, most important part is we win. My comfortability and rhythm. All that is a part of the game in will come, most important part is we string together some wins and creating a collective rhythm, which is our most important.”

The Clippers will have another three days off here before taking on the Golden State Warriors at home on Wednesday night. LA currently trails in the season-series, 2-1, and the Clippers hold a one-game lead in the standings. A win on Wednesday would secure at least a tie in the season series and give them much more breathing room entering the final stretch of the NBA season.

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