9th April 2017 – history was made when Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s record for the most number of triple doubles made in a regular season with his 42nd triple-double of the season. Roberston’s 56-year-old record of 41 triple doubles in the 1961-62 season broken with a 50 point triple double – third of his career. Not only that, he won the game for the Thunder with a buzzer-beating three – five feet off the 3 pt line.
— NBA (@NBA) April 10, 2017
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) April 9, 2017
This being the 79th triple-double of his career, he now passed Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time triple-doubles list and currently stands 4th all time. It used to be a big deal if a player got one, Russ got 42 this season. For a comparison, Lebron James, in his 14-year career has gotten only 55 triple doubles, Russell managed 42 in one season. I love this season, how he had a bad game if he didn’t get a triple-double.
What is more impressive is his triple-double average, his stat line reads 32ppg, 11rpg and 10apg. Not only did he average a triple-double, he averaged a 30-point triple-double which is just ridiculous by NBA standards. He was 23/8/10 last year, it’s amazing how he managed to improve his ppg by 9 while increasing his rebounds and assists. Just ridiculous.
— SimplieSports (@SimplieSports) March 30, 2017
Insane offensive stats were actually easier to come by in the prior ages of the NBA. Robertson had it easier than Westbrook, during the 1960s, an NBA game averaged close to 120 possessions. The Royals, for whom Robertson played, averaged 125 possessions per game. This year, and the past decade, that number has been close to 100. More possessions mean more points, rebounds and also assists. And that’s not all, Robertson averaged 44.8 minutes per game, Russell only played 34.8 this season. So he racked 42 triple doubles averaging 10 minutes lesser than Robertson. Had the game been played like how it was back in the day, and if Russell had played the same minutes as Robertson did, he would’ve averaged 51/17/17. Incredible? You’re goddamn right. It obviously doesn’t work that way but I just wanted to put things in perspective.
— Opposition (@WeAreOpposition) March 31, 2017
The biggest crime that can be committed now is not awarding Russ the MVP title. Although Oscar Robertson didn’t win an MVP in his 41 triple-double season, he didn’t carry his team consisting of a depleted roster into the playoffs as the 5th seed single-handedly. The Thunder would have had less than 20 wins had Russell not been playing the way he is, and that is to put it generously. The playoffs will be interesting to watch.