In the rich history of the NBA, multiple legends have been disrespected.
Despite their greatness, fans and critics tend to focus more on the downside of their career, rather than their greatest accomplishments and great impact on the sport.
One future legend that’s among the most disrespected of them all is Russell Westbrook.
In the 74-year history of the NBA, there have only been two people that averaged a triple-double in a season.
Oscar Robertson averaged 30.8 PPG, 12.5 RPG and 11.4 APG back in 1961-62 season. He had a total of 41 triple-double games that year.
The second man to do it is Westbrook.
The former UCLA standout averaged 31.6 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 10.4 APG in the 2016-17 season. He had a total of 42 games where he put up a triple-double and in his 42nd triple-double game of that season, he dropped 50 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, as well as the game winning three-pointer.
If that’s not the best way to break a triple-double record, I don’t know what is.
Now, averaging a triple-double in a season is already amazing but doing it for three consecutive seasons is godly in the game of basketball. That’s something Westbrook did.
In the 2017-18 season, Westbrook averaged 25.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 10.3 APG and 1.8 SPG.
And in the 2018-19 season, he followed it up by averaging 22.9 PPG, 11.1 RPG and 10.7 APG with 1.9 SPG.
For his career, Westbrook is averaging 23.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 8.4 APG and 1.7 SPG.
In his 12-years in the league, he has been a league MVP (2016-17), a nine-time All-Star, a two-time All-Star Game MVP, two-time Scoring Champion and two-time Assists Champion.
He has a total of 163 Triple-Doubles in his career, which is second all-time behind only Robertson who has 181.
The closest active player to his record is LeBron James, who has 99 triple-doubles for his career.
Westbrook has 21,240 points for his career which is 37th all-time, he also has 7,698 career assists which is 13th all-time, he also has a total of 6,596 career rebounds and have averaged the most rebounds by a point guard in a season with 10.1 RPG.
Westbrook has done so much for the game; he has shown that floor generals can do more than just a run the offense or just make plays for his teammates.
His hard-charging style and insane athleticism allowed him to do these legendary accomplishments in his career.
His triple-double performances became such a normal thing for us to see that we all take it for granted and didn’t found it amazing anymore after he has done if the first time.
In his second triple-double year, he was only fifth in the MVP race.
In his second triple-double year, he was 10th in the MVP voting.
Him averaging a triple-double was no longer a surprise for us, hence why we overlooked him, aside from that his playoff woes did not help his case either.
In his 12-years, he made the playoffs 10 times but only made it to the Finals once, with Kevin Durant and James Harden in 2012, and he was eliminated in the first round four-times.
Despite his lack of playoff success, there is no doubt that he’s one of the greatest of all-time.
This season, he’s once again averaging a triple-double with 21.8 PPG. 10.1 RPG and 10.5 APG with 1.3 SPG.
Although, the Washington Wizards are 12th in the Eastern Conference with 17-29 record, his competitive fire doesn’t seem to be affected.
Over his last 10 games, Westbrook has hit a triple-double a staggering seven times.
Against the Indiana Pacers yesterday, Westbrook put up 35 points, 14 rebounds and 21 assists to give the Wizards the win, 132-124.
That performance was the first 35+ point and 20+ assists triple-double performance in the history of the league. It’s also the fourth time in NBA history that a player had a 20+ points and 20+ assists triple-double performance.
He followed that up today with another triple-double in a 114-104 loss to the Hornets, posting up 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 14 assists. This pushed his Wizards triple-double total to 17, and he’s already the franchise’s all-time leader after half a season.
His game is something that we only see once in a generation and like Jerry West, their greatness should be the focus, rather than their failures.
Do you think Westbrook is an all-time great? Sound off below in the comment section!