When new Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook first averaged a triple-double in 2017, he joined an exclusive club. The only player to ever do what Westbrook did was legendary guard Oscar Robertson, who accomplished the feat in 1962.
Unlike Robertson, Westbrook did win the Regular Season MVP award when he put up those numbers in 2017, but that hasn’t been the case in subsequent seasons. Westbrook has now averaged a triple-double in four of the last five seasons and last year, while his scoring was down, his rebounds and assists were at a career-high.
But in 2021, Westbrook was nowhere near the MVP conversation and Robertson believes that was completely wrong, as he revealed in the latest episode of The Knuckleheads podcast with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson:
“I look at Westbrook, and he got triple-doubles this year and no one even noticed it, they didn’t think it was such a big deal,” Robertson said on The Knuckleheads Podcast. “I think that’s totally unfair. I think he should have won [MVP] again. If he [averaged] a triple-double again, and he didn’t win [MVP], so why keep stats then?”
The argument against Westbrook is an obvious one and it’s that the Washington Wizards finished below .500 and barely made the playoffs as the eighth seed. In fairness to Westbrook, he was in large part responsible for the Wizards making it into the playoffs after they were ravaged with injuries and COVID-19 issues early on, but many will always fall back to wins being important and that has to be factored in as well.
Robertson does make a fair point in that it seems as if Westbrook’s stats are just going unnoticed now and it is because he has made that his norm. Something like that should be appreciated as averaging a triple-double in a season is remarkable and Westbrook has now accomplished that four times. But it is never just about the numbers.
The knock on Westbrook has always been that his stats don’t amount to winning and this season, teaming with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers, he has a chance to put that to rest as well.
Westbrook says family is ‘very, very happy’ about him joining Lakers
Westbrook is undoubtedly excited about the opportunity he has with the Lakers and returning home to Los Angeles. And he isn’t the only one who is looking forward to being in Purple and Gold.
“Anytime a situation like this comes about or an opportunity presents itself it can be stressful,” Westbrook said at his introductory press conference. “A lot of emotions, but ultimately the biggest thing for me being in this league when you know teams that actually want you… to me, that means more than anything else.
“At that point, it’s my job to make sure and come and do what I’m supposed to do and that’s to compete and make sure we have a chance to compete for a championship. And yes, my family was very, very happy [laughs].”
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