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Alvin Robertson and Chris Paul

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Chris Paul goes for the all time steals streak record vs. San Antonio. As I'm sure you've heard a million times by now, he's currently tied with a fellow named Alvin Robertson. But who was Alvin Robertson? Among other things, he was one of the top point guards and perimeter defenders of the 80's, was voted as a starter in the All-Star game in his second season, scored the first points in Toronto Raptors history, and is one of four players to record a quadruple double. CP3 may break Robertson's streak tonight, but he's got a ways to go before equalling the "Man of Steal" in terms of thievery. A look at the top single season steal percentage (steals per opponent possession) in NBA history:

Rank Player Team/Season Steals Rate
1 Nate McMillan Sonics/93-94 5.8%
2 Dudley Bradley Bullets/85-86 4.9%
3 Dudley Bradley Pacers/79-80 4.8%
4 Alvin Robertson Spurs/85-86 4.8%
5 Dudley Bradley Pacers/80-81 4.7%
6 Alvin Robertson Bucks/90-91 4.7%
7 Alvin Robertson Spurs/86-87 4.6%
8 Darrell Walker Knicks/83-84 4.6%
9 Ron Artest Pacers/01-02 4.5%
25 Chris Paul Hornets/08-09 4.1%

3 of the top 5 spots on the list belong to Robertson, a pretty impressive feat. You might recognize former Hornets' assistant coach Darrell Walker ('04-'08) on that list as well. But while Paul may not be making much of a dent on this specific page of the record book, it's all about longevity. You might have noticed that a certain John Stockton didn't crack the top 10 even though his career steals total is one of the more unbreakable records in sports. Alvin Robertson retired only a couple years after moving to Milwaukee and ran into a variety of embarassing legal issues, including stealing items from an ex-girlfriend (ha ha). So move over Isiah Thomas; you've got some company on the "when Chris Paul is compared to you, I shudder" list.