To eliminate any confusion from the start, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook did not turn 100 years old. However, at just 29 years old, Westbrook became just the fourth player in the history of the NBA to reach 100 triple-doubles. His 100th came against the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night. That’s right, he has achieved double-digits in points, rebounds and assists in one single game 100 times.
Westbrook’s 100 triple-doubles are very fascinating to say the least. Here are some of the more advanced statistics surrounding the feat.
Elite company and team stats
As mentioned, only four players have ever reached triple-digit triple-doubles (say that three times fast), and the company is elite to say the least.
The other three players are Jason Kidd (107), Magic Johnson (138) and of course “The Big O” Oscar Robertson (181). At the pace Westbrook is at and with the Thunder fighting to stay in the Western Conference playoffs, he could definitely pass Kidd by the time the season comes to an end. Yes, he needs eight triple-doubles in his last 12 games, but we’ve seen stranger things from Beastbrook before.
The OKC Thunder alone have 108 triple-doubles in franchise history, with Westbrook making up an astounding 92.6 percent of these. One of my favorite numbers about all of this is that he has more triple-doubles than 23 franchises as a whole. This means, excluding the Thunder of course, there are only six franchises that have more triple-doubles than Westbrook as an individual in the history of the game (Kings, Lakers, Celtics, 76ers, Warriors, Nets).
It is also important to remember that Westbrook’s rookie year was the 2008-09 season. Since this point, he has more triple-doubles than the Cavs, Rockets, Warriors and Celtics as franchises. Those are some pretty good teams, and knowing Westbrook has out-triple-doubled all of them since his rookie year is enthralling.
While this makes a lot of sense, Westbrook has seen a plentiful increase in his triple-double frequency since Kevin Durant’s departure. From 2009-14, he actually only had eight triple doubles in his whole career. In his last two seasons with Durant, these became more frequent as he notched 29.
But his historic 2016-17 campaign, combined with this not-too-shabby season, has seen 63 triple-doubles. Keep in mind, this is in a little less than two seasons, so the correlation between the increase of triple-doubles and the decrease of Kevin Durant is legit.
To add a cherry on top, he is also the only player to have a triple-double against all of his opponents. Kidd and LeBron James are just below him with 28 and 27, but no one has done what Westbrook has done in that sense.
Believe it or not, big man Steven Adams has helped Westbrook out in a way over the years. He has been present as an Oklahoma City Thunder team member for 88 of Westbrook’s 100 triple-doubles.
Over these 88 games, Adams has received 236 passes that have led to buckets, which have resulted in about 2.68 assists per game to Steven Adams alone. No other teammate really comes close to this mark, as players like Enes Kanter (129) and Andre Roberson (115) have received more than 100 less assists courtesy of Westbrook.
Westbrook isn’t generally one to need help scoring, as he has been unassisted on 727 out of his 912 field goals made during his 100 triple-doubles. This comes out to just under 80 percent of unassisted field goals. Out of the remaining 20 percent, who else but Steven Adams leads the way in assisting Westbrook, with 32 dimes to him over his historic span.
I would find it hard to believe that anyone else could even have the chance to catch Robertson’s 181 career triple-doubles. But if anyone has the chance to do it, it’s Westbrook.
Keep in mind that he turns 30 in November. While performance normally declines with age, he may have a handful of seasons full of triple-doubles left in him.
Wilt Chamberlain actually leads the way with triple-doubles after the 30-years-old mark with 61. As crazy as it sounds, with Westbrook’s energy and barring any injury or extremely high-usage players joining the team, this mark can be beat. Time will only tell what Westbrook will be doing a few years from now.
There is plenty of controversy regarding the legitimacy of triple-doubles nowadays, including the abundance of uncontested rebounds and some cheap assists. But accomplishing anything 100 times has plenty of validation to it, and Russell Westbrook deserves credit regardless of your stance.
He’s been a beast his whole career, but Kevin Durant’s departure turned him into a completely different animal. I know I’m not the only one excited about what kind of records the guy will have when all is said and done, but it is safe to say that we have something special in our sight.
Enjoy the energetic, triple-double crazy ride we call Russell Westbrook while you can.
Featured image from ftw.usatoday.com
“From Our Haus to Yours”