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How Nick Van Exel got his 20 assists

Excel­lent Dead­spin post about the undis­ci­plined and occa­sion­al­ly crooked world of NBA score­keep­ing. It's based on the sto­ry of a guy named Alex who once kept score for the Griz­zlies, and it includes this gem about how Nick Van Exel (who wasn't known for his pass­ing, let's say) racked up 23 assists one night:

A lit­tle more than a year lat­er, with Nick Van Exel and the Lak­ers in town, Alex decid­ed to act out. "I was sort of dis­grun­tled," he says. "I loved the game. I don't want the num­bers to be mean­ing­less, and I felt they were becom­ing mean­ing­less because of how stats were kept. So I decid­ed, I'm gonna do this total­ly imma­ture thing and see what hap­pens. It was child­ish. The Lak­ers are in town. We're gonna lose. Fuck it. He's get­ting a shit­load of assists." If you were to watch the game today, you'd see some "com­i­cal­ly bad assists." Alex's fin­ger­prints are all over the box score. He gave Van Exel every­thing. "Van Exel would pass from the top of the three-point line to some­one on the wing who'd hold the ball for five sec­onds, drib­ble, then make a move to the bas­ket. Assist, Van Exel."