Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has done the remarkable, becoming only the second player in NBA history – and the first in 55 years – to average a triple-double over an entire season.
Westbrook stands alone with Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who averaged a triple-double in 1961-62.
Westbrook was averaging 31.8 points (first in the NBA), 10.7 rebounds (10th) and 10.4 assists (third) entering Friday’s game against the Suns, leaving him six assists shy with four outings left to secure the feat. He totaled them by early in the third quarter.
Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists in ’61-62, setting a standard many considered unreachable in the modern era. (Robertson missed doing it again ’63-64 by just seven boards.)
But with superstar teammate Kevin Durant defecting to Golden State during the offseason, Westbrook had little choice but to put the Thunder on his back.
He has taken full advantage of the opportunity, leading the Thunder to 45 wins and establishing himself as an MVP favorite with one of the great individual seasons in NBA history.
Westbrook will now attempt to break Robertson’s single-season record of 41 triple-doubles, which he matched in Oklahoma City’s victory over the Bucks on April 4. Westbrook has three more opportunities after Friday’s game, a 120-99 loss in which he finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.