The NBA has a new triple-double king.
The Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook broke Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson’s 47-year-old record with his 182nd career triple-double on Monday.
Westbrook overtook Robertson on a rebound in the fourth quarter, giving him 21 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds against the Atlanta Hawks. Westbrook ended with 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds in a 125-124 defeat. Westbrook missed a 3-pointer in the final shot of the game. He collected the ball from referee Tom Washington after the last buzzer.
“It’s just a blessing,” said Westbrook. “You put so much into the game, so much time, you sacrifice so much and to be able to mention with the likes of Oscar, Magic (Johnson), Jason Kidd, it’s just something that I am.” I never dreamed of growing up in LA as a little kid. I am really grateful for moments like this. …
“I take this job very seriously and am very grateful to my teammates and coaches on my journey. Special thanks to my family for giving so much time and energy to help me do some of the things I am.” able to do – my wife, my children, my mother, my father, my brother. The sacrifices they have made do not go unnoticed. “
Westbrook was a triple-double crack in the second half of the season. He has 36 in 2020-21, with 26 in the last two months and 18 in the Wizards’ last 21 games.
“It’s great for him,” said Wizards manager Scott Brooks. “You can’t take anything away from him. The guy’s a winner, which makes the basketball and non-basketball worlds a better place. Not many guys can do that. Not many guys can have the effect he both has on and next to the square. It’s pretty phenomenal.
“(Fans) are witnessing a man who competes in every single possession and not a lot of people you cover can tell you about it. I see what he does. He competes and the fans appreciate it. Oscar Robertson is special. What he’s done is special. So no one has come close in 50 years. Every record is meant to be broken. I don’t know if anyone will come back. But (Westbrook) definitely aired take it to another level. “
As recently as the 2014/15 season, it didn’t look like Westbrook, who played his first eleven-year season with Oklahoma City, would hit Robertson’s record.
In his first six seasons he recorded only 19 triple doubles. In 2015-16, he showed a penchant for triple doubles with his explosive, persistent style. He had 18 that season and followed with 42 triple doubles in 2016/17, breaking Robertson’s single-season record. He won MVP that season.
He reached 67 over the next three seasons, but only eight last season with Houston. A deal to Washington before the season started gave Westbrook the opportunity to play the way he did with the Thunder. If the NBA had played a regular 82-game schedule this season instead of a 72-game schedule, Westbrook might have had a chance to overshadow its record in one season.
He also expressed his appreciation for Robertson, who also played an important role in the early days of the players’ union.
“He paved the way for people like me,” Westbrook said. “During the time he was playing, he endured different things where he could and was still effective.” I just want to thank him because without him and the things he could do for the game, I probably wouldn’t be able to do some of the things that I’m doing now. ”
At 6-3, Westbrook is one of the best rebounding guards in NBA history. He may not always be an efficient goalscorer, but he does have a way of scoring points and averaging at least 20 points over the last 11 seasons. He’s a willing passer-by too, and it helps that he’s played with All-Stars and talented goal scorers Kevin Durant, James Harden and Bradley Beal.
Westbrook deviates from his humble statements and says: “I’m the best playmaker in the league. I have no doubt. “
Despite the over-criticism of Westbrook’s game, he has played for winning teams and his team’s record for recording a triple-double is 136-45, including 21-14 with the Wizards.
“I just go out there and have fun and tires,” Westbrook said recently. “At the end of the day, when my trip is over and I’m done with the basketball, I can think of some of the crazy stat lines – the good, the bad, the ugly – and be grateful. I am grateful for everything. “