Russell Westbrook ties Oscar Robertson’s Triple-Double Record
You don’t see it happen too often when decades-old records are broken in any sport. Records so insurmountable that have stood the test of time. The ones where the margins between the first and second on the list are so huge that being the second is a feat in itself. One such important achievement in Basketball is a Triple Double. It’s a triple-double when a player has double-digit points, assists and rebounds in the game. It’s the stat that defines the all-around nature of a player’s game. Oscar Robertson held the record for most triple-doubles in his career for more than 40 years. 181 triple-doubles. Until today.
Indiana Pacers were hosting Washington Wizards but all eyes were on Russell Westbrook. He has been in a blazing hot form. Everyone expected him to equal the record today and he didn’t disappoint. With his 10th assist to Bradley Beal in the game, he joined Big O at the summit. He had his 181st career triple-double game and he will most likely surpass the legend this season itself. Just to give you an idea of how tough this accomplishment is: the individual behind Oscar and Westbrook on this list is Magic Johnson with 138 and the active player on the list behind Westbrook is LeBron James who is 1 shy of crossing the triple-digit mark. You can clearly say Westbrook is in a league of his own when it comes to triple-doubles.
It’s one of the hardest achievements in a basketball game. It’s even amazing when one can carry it for the entire season to average a triple-double. When Oscar Robertson accomplished this in 1961–62, one could never imagine anyone coming close to it. Westbrook has not only matched it but surpassed it by a few miles. He managed to achieve this for 3 continuous seasons during his stay at OKC and is well on his way to a 4th such season. It’s just bonkers. While the number of triple-doubles per season has increased in the last few years, it doesn’t take anything away from Westbrook’s greatness.
Washington Wizards have made a late push for the playoffs this season. While Stephen Curry has been lighting up the Western Conference and carrying the Warriors, Beal and Westbrook have taken a similar mantle. Beal and Curry have been going back and forth for the scoring title this season, but no one comes close to Westbrook’s overall numbers this season. Westbrook currently tops the table with 34 triple-doubles this season. He would lead the league 5 times in the last 6 seasons when it comes to triple-doubles. Given the competition in Eastern Conference this season, all this might not be sufficient to carry the Wizards deep into the playoffs. Regardless, Westbrook is far from done going strong in his 13th season.
Westbrook’s recent run has sparked a debate. Where would we rank Westbrook as a point guard in the history of the game? He is still chasing that elusive title and he will surely get a few more chances for it. It’s tough to put him high on the list of the best point guards without a championship but his accomplishments can’t be overshadowed by the lack of his team’s achievement. He is a true competitor who gives his 100% every time he steps on the court. His athletic ability separates him from the other point guards in the league. While he might not have the shooting touch of Curry, Lillard or Harden, he more than makes up for it by assisting and rebounding. It’s tough to say where he ranks on this list when it’s all said and done, he will always be one of the greatest ever to step on the court.