Oscar Robertson held the NBA’s triple-double record for too long to be bitter over losing it.
The Basketball Hall of Famer congratulated Russell Westbrook on Sunday after the Oklahoma City Thunder guard set the NBA’s single-season record for triple-doubles.
“I could not be happier for him,” Robertson wrote in The Undefeated. “Congratulations to Russell Westbrook on a magnificent season!
“I admire Westbrook’s all-around command of the game. He is a marvelous athlete who plays with intensity and flair and is exciting to watch. His performance this season is impressive. He would have been great in any era.”
Westbrook has recorded 42 triple-doubles this season. His averages of 31.7 points, 10.7 assists and 10.4 rebounds per game will make him the first player to average a triple-double for a season since Robertson did so in the 1961-62 season (when he averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game).
Robertson also offered three reasons why he endorses Westbrook over James Harden, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and others for this season’s MVP Award.
“1.) He took over the offense for the Oklahoma City Thunder after Kevin Durant’s blockbuster departure for the Golden State Warriors as a free agent changed the team’s composition;” Robertson wrote. “2.) This season, he beats any other guard in a head-to-head matchup; 3.) Most important, he should be rewarded for his outstanding play this season and his career-making individual accomplishments.”
As someone who did the unthinkable 55 years before Westbrook, Robertson’s assessment is difficult to refute.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images