Russell Westbrook is a gift that just keeps giving (everything except championships). He’s arguably the most athletic player in a league chalked full of freaks and every night he does something that’ll make your head spin. But against the 76ers, he did something that no player in NBA history has ever done: record a triple-double without missing a shot, ending the night with 18 points, 14 assists, and 11 boards on 6-6 shooting from the floor and 6-6 from the free throw line.
Most players who make it to the NBA will never have a triple-double night. If they do, it’s usually a once-a-season type deal. Westbrook is averaging a triple-double this year, with Oscar Robertson’s single season record of 41 triple-doubles squarely in his sights.
Robertson, of course, is the only player to average a triple-double for an entire season, but that was back in the ’61-’62 season, and we can all agree the game has evolved a little bit since then.
Russell is also making a compelling case for MVP, with the race essentially a toss-up between him and James Harden. LeBron James and Kwahi Leonard are each having seasons that would be good enough to win MVP nine out of ten times, but the way Harden and Westbrook are playing – no way.
Somebody’s getting robbed at the end of the season because the league can’t very well give out co-MVP awards. Judging by how Westbrook’s been playing since the departure of Kevin Durant, adversity is something he embraces. His boy left for greener pastures and Russ took it as a personal affront, doubling down on hustle and putting up ridiculous numbers, essentially shouting from a mountaintop, “I don’t need no KD. F–k the Slim Reaper.”
Seems like every other night, Russ is jumping out the building. It’s been years since someone attacked the basket with that much ferocity, consistently. Maybe D-Rose when his knees worked, but no one is flushing the ball with more authority than Westbrook right now. By the time all is said and done, he’ll have carved out a place for himself on the list of all-time great dunkers:
If Harden wins MVP, Russell Westbrook might come back as a real life Space Jam monster next year. Yes, the league has changed to be more conducive to scoring, but Russ has elevated his game Above The Rim, just like ‘Pac in ’94.