Move over, Oscar Robertson—you have company atop the triple-double throne.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook notched his 41st triple-double of the season Tuesday with 12 points, 13 assists and 13 rebounds in his team’s 110-79 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Brodie’s amazing season continues pic.twitter.com/df1zExUBwt
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 5, 2017
ESPN Stats & Info pointed out he made more history Tuesday:
Russell Westbrook: 1st player to have 2 streaks of 7 straight triple-doubles in same season
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 5, 2017
Robertson set the record with 41 triple-doubles in the 1961-62 season as a member of the Cincinnati Royals, when he averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game. Not only did Westbrook tie Robertson’s record of triple-doubles in a single season, but he is primed to join the former Cincinnati playmaker as the only players in NBA history to average triple-doubles throughout an entire campaign.
Robertson has no qualms pulling for Westbrook as he pursues the record. He told ESPN’s Andy Katz on Friday, “I’m rooting for him. … I hope he does it.”
Westbrook moved to within one triple-double of the record against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday when he tallied 40 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. He set another record with that performance, as the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info) noted:
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 2, 2017
NBA on ESPN put Westbrook’s incredible accomplishment into perspective against star players Tracy McGrady, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony:
This is just mindblowing 😳 pic.twitter.com/9paqb8iiig
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 2, 2017
Westbrook is a six-time All-Star and a five-time member of an All-NBA team, but he has ascended to new heights this season with 31.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game heading into Tuesday. With Kevin Durant no longer playing alongside him, he has taken over the Thunder offense and propelled the team into the middle of the Western Conference playoff picture as the No. 6 seed.
Whether his triple-double magic is enough to merit the MVP award remains to be seen, as playmakers such as Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and LeBron James are also vying for the recognition. However, Robertson thinks Westbrook deserves it, per Katz:
I think it’s Westbrook. That’s what I really think. Because years ago it was tough to win an MVP because it was based on winning championships, and [Bill] Russell with the Celtics — they dominated. But one year, Wilt [Chamberlain] averaged 50 points a game and 29 rebounds and me a triple-double, but Bill won because his team advanced and we did not.
It’s changed now. A lot of people understand what an MVP means. They understand basketball better than they did years ago.
Regardless of who wins the MVP or how far Westbrook’s Thunder advance in the playoffs, he has etched his name in the NBA record book with 41 triple-doubles. He could have a chance to move past Robertson on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies.