Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s NBA record for career triple-doubles with 182 on Monday night in a 125-124 loss to the Hawks.
Westbrook grabbed his 10th rebound with 8:30 left in the fourth quarter as his Washington Wizards opposed the Atlanta Hawks. It was his 36th triple-double in 62 games this season.
Westbrook finished the night with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 21 assists, but he missed a potential game-winning buzzer-bearer from 3-point range in the Wizards loss.
Terrible shot selection to try and win the game. Such is the story of Russell Westbrook the enigma.
With the defense on its heels and the tempo being pushed he settled for a three from the wing.
He’s never been a great three-point shooter, so one has to wonder why he bailed the defense out in that moment.
That brings me to say, yes his feat is impressive, but he’s arguably the most polarizing figure in the NBA.
His stats aside, he’s played with some future Hall of Famers, from Kevin Durant and James Harden to Carmelo Anthony and George to Chris Paul and now Bradley Beal, but still has nothing to show for it outside of individual stats.
Each time he’s had another great player or players with him, it ended poorly in the postseason.
And a huge reason why is because Russ’ style of play doesn’t blend well with most. Doesn’t equate to winning basketball.
Yes he accumulates massive numbers but they don’t turn into playoff wins.
His team’s record when he records a triple-double is (136-46), which is a 75% winning percentage, but again that style doesn’t translate in the postseason.
Style of play and tempo has played a huge role in Westbrook breaking the record set by the “Big O.”
In a league where defense is non-existent and the game is catered to the offense it’s much easier to reach such a feat. Again not saying what he accomplished was easy, just easier in today’s game.
What also bothers me is that folks have been acting as if he’s the best player in the league and his coach Scott Brooks, his biggest enabler over his NBA career, even said he’s the second best point guard of all-time after Magic Johnson.
Is he serious right now ?
We’ve never considered Oscar Robertson as the best at the position and he held the record forever.
Pump your brakes Scott Brooks. We understand your excitement as this late-season push led by Russ is probably gonna save your job in DC.
I’m not one to ever discredit another man’s accomplishments, as that wouldn’t be manly at all, but before we anoint Westbrook let’s look at the whole scope of his incredible and again polarizing career.
When he’s done playing he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer, but this triple-double feat isn’t enough to overlook his past failures with teams and teammates that should’ve won more.
That in itself can’t be forgotten.