Russell Westbrook has had highlights, stats and hype surrounding him each and every game that he has played in this season. His energy, athleticism and attitude have made him the center of attention by all NBA fans. Moreover, he has led his team to a respectable record this season. The Thunder are starting to look like a solid playoff team this season, even after the departure of Kevin Durant.
Westbrook currently is averaging a triple-double – something that seems unprecedented for someone who has played every game in the 2016-2017 game. The only player to ever go a whole season averaging a triple-double is Oscar Robertson back in the 1961-1962 NBA season. Naturally, one tends to be curious about how amazing it would be for Westbrook to achieve a feat that only one other player in NBA history has ever achieved.
In the case that Westbrook is able to average a triple-double for this whole season, will his stats be more impressive and more valuable than that of Oscar Robertson?
The 1961-1962 NBA season provided the NBA with some of the greatest stats by players ever. This season not only witnessed Oscar Robertson’s triple-double average but also Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game and 50 points-per-game average. During this NBA season, the Boston Celtics were the most dominant team, and players like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor highlighted the talent of the NBA then. In this season, there were only nine teams in the NBA, and 80 games were played in the entire season. Oscar Robertson led his Cincinnati Royals to a 43-37 record, averaging approximately 31 points-per-game, 13 rebounds-per-game and 11 assists-per-game.
A lot has changed since then. The NBA forever changed in the 1980s and 1990s. While there may be a few super teams, the majority of teams today are incredibly competitive when they play in each and every game. There is a total of thirty teams now, and players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Steph Curry highlight the talent of the NBA. The amount of athleticism and talent that is present in the NBA today is, without a doubt, incredibly greater than that in 1961. There is an incredibly amount of resources available that have added many different dimensions, including scouting reports and research. However, Westbrook’s talent is not something that can be researched to be stopped. He is arguably unstoppable.
If Westbrook is able to average a triple-double, he will truly join an elite club. But on top of that, if Westbrook is able to achieve more triple-doubles than Oscar Robertson, who currently has the record of 41 triple-doubles in a season, then Westbrook could arguably have the best regular season by an individual player ever.