For over 45 years, Oscar Robertson had been the only player in the NBA to average a triple-double in a single season.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has now accomplished that feat in three consecutive seasons, the first time anyone has ever done that in league history.
Whereas Westbrook’s first time averaging a triple-double was a celebration, there is a sense that–for whatever reason–the consistency with which Westbrook has filled the stat sheet over the year has had a diminishing effect on the accomplishment.
The former MVP has been criticized throughout the season for his perceived inefficiency. Westbrook has attempted nearly two more three-pointers per game despite running the worst percentage since his second year in the league, and Westbrook’s 65.6 percent clip from the free-throw line is the worst of his career.
But Westbrook has arguably had one of his finest all-around seasons, competing as hard as ever on the defensive end while acting as a facilitator and–at times–playing second fiddle to Paul George.
He seemed to brush off the criticisms when asked about the achievement in the postgame press conference, telling reporters that he will continue to do what he does on a nightly basis regardless of what other people have to say:
Russell Westbrook “blessed” on the historic triple-double average the last three seasons: “It’ll hit me at some point, just like it’ll hit everyone else in this room, too.” pic.twitter.com/IsEKzA7lze
— Erik Horne (@ErikkHorne) April 6, 2019
It has been a rather tumultuous season for Westbrook and the Thunder. Oklahoma City got off to a slow start, but began to take off in December and January thanks to the superlative play of George and Westbrook.
But the Thunder are just 8-9 since the beginning of March, and will not be able to climb any higher than the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Still, this is likely to be a team that nobody wants to see in the playoffs.