INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Russell Westbrook grew to develop into an instant hit with his ability to bring triple-doubles.
Now, the 6-foot-3 point guard is on the verge of a house dawdle — breaking Oscar Robertson’s seemingly unbreakable profession record.
He had 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists Saturday night in a 133-132 time previous regulation victory over Indiana to tie Robertson’s stamp of 181. And, fittingly, it came ethical a rapid power away from the Lockefield Mud Bowl, the set aside Robertson and his future Crispus Attucks High College teammates first honed their craft.
Westbrook gets his first crack to surpass Robertson on Monday night in Atlanta.
“I seize loads of pride in doing everything I will to influence winning,” he acknowledged. “To be in a dialog with Oscar, I ethical need to thank him because of this of he set aside the stage. The things he was in a location to enact back in the day has allowed me to enact the things that I enact this day. So I’m appreciative of that, and I’m appreciative of his enhance moreover.”
Nonetheless the 2 men now linked in the record books took dramatically different paths to the discontinuance.
Robertson was an Indianapolis high college indispensable individual, a three-time All-American on the University of Cincinnati and an Olympic gold medalist ahead of playing for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks.
In ethical his 2d pro season, Robertson grew to develop into the foremost participant to moderate a triple-double — a feat simplest matched by Westbrook a half-century later — and Robertson came within a whisker of achieving the feat in every of his first five seasons.
Westbrook, meanwhile, drew diminutive college interest except his senior season in high college and started ethical one season at UCLA ahead of turning pro. During his first six seasons in Oklahoma Metropolis, he logged eight triple-doubles.
Then he perfected the art and produced one more 173 over the closing seven seasons.
They met in 2017, a meeting Westbrook known as overwhelming.
“He flew to Oklahoma Metropolis and he didn’t need to enact that,” he acknowledged. “He took time out of his day to focus on with me and my family about that moment. I was honestly extra intrigued because of this of he was dealing with social injustice when he was playing and so I was in truth intrigued about how he dealt with that and continued to play on the kind of high stage.”
Westbrook also chanced on a fashion to save wide numbers night after night.
This season he leads the league with 35, the 2d-very most life like total of his profession. He had 42 in 2016-17 when he grew to develop into the foremost participant since Robertson in 1961-62 to moderate a triple-double. With a week left in the frequent season, he’s poised to compare that feat for the fourth time in five seasons.
And now, after posting 19 triple-doubles in the closing 24 video games, he’s one away from breaking a record that has stood since Robertson finished his profession in 1973-74.
“To enact that on a nightly basis, it’s in truth onerous to enact,” teammate Bradley Beal acknowledged. “You exit there and gain a look at doing it every single night, it’s very hard. It’s hard mentally. It ethical reveals how seriously he approaches the recreation.”
It’s also fitting that Westbrook tied the record against the Pacers, against whom he has posted a profession-high 10 triple-doubles including three this season.
He grew to develop into the foremost participant in league history with a 35-point, 20-assists triple-double against Indiana on March 29 and had a profession-high 21 rebounds and a profession-high matching 24 assists against the Pacers in Monday’s victory over the Pacers.
That’s no longer all. He now has 7,998 profession assists, passing Rod Strickland for 12th on the NBA’s profession record and he moved within 41 points of surpassing Larry Rooster (21,791) for No. 40 on the league’s profession scoring record.
“I knew he was going to obtain it, I didn’t know if he would obtain it this year,” coach Scott Brooks acknowledged. “For him to pass up Oscar Robertson is de facto incredible. I am hoping some contrivance, he (Robertson) can reach (to a recreation), I’d like to meet him. There are certain guys in NBA history who you placed on a pedestal and except you meet them they’re kind of mythical. It’s onerous to evaluate coaching Russell 13 years ago, he was going to spoil Oscar Robertson’s record, but I’m tickled I’m saying that because of this of he’s in truth a different participant.”