Russell Westbrook’s triple-double madness has become so routine — and, in large part, so unconnected to meaningful winning — that hardly anyone pays attention anymore. I’m guilty of this, too. It’s a shame, really, because the numbers Westbrook is still putting up are ludicrous.
On Monday night, Westbrook posted the 178th triple-double of his career, three behind Oscar Robertson’s NBA record of 181 with 14 points, 21 rebounds and 24 assists. Yes, you’re reading those stats correctly. It is just the third time in NBA history that anyone has recorded a 10-20-20 game, and Westbrook is responsible for two of them. Wilt Chamberlain notched the other one with 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists against Detroit in February 1968.
Per StatMuse, Westbrook is also the only player in NBA history to record multiple 20-rebound, 20-assist games in his career. Again, that has happened three times and Westbrook is responsible for two of them, with Wilt, in the same game referenced above, being the other one.
For the season, Westbrook is now averaging 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 11.2 assists. With seven games to play, he cannot fall below a triple-double average for the season even if he records zeros across the board from here on out.
No matter how you slice it, this is crazy. Oscar Robertson averaging a triple-double for one entire season was once something of a mythical mark. Westbrook has now done it four times in the past five seasons. It’s a testament to his talent, obviously. But the part we don’t talk about enough is his motor. You don’t pile up across-the-board numbers like that on a nightly basis, year after year, by hanging back and letting the game, or the ball, come to you. You go get it. You live in attack mode.
Westbrook might take some ill-advised shots and commit out-of-control turnovers and conserve a little energy here and there on defense, but for the most part, he’s going absolutely full out every single second he’s on the court. And that approach has his name etched in history next to some of the most iconic figures to ever play in the NBA.