Russell Westbrook pays tribute to Oscar Robertson after breaking his triple-double record

·3 min read

Russell Westbrook entered the NBA history books on Monday night, breaking Oscar Robertson's record for career triple-doubles. It's a major achievement, but Westbrook knows he didn't get there alone. 

Following the Washington Wizards' tough one-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Westbrook took several moments to reflect on phenomenal point guards of the past like Allen Iverson and Magic Johnson. Then he singled out Robertson specifically for paving the way for him to be the kind of player he is today. 

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"As a player in this league, to make it in this league is one thing. But to be in this league and consistently do great things and try to do great things, it's tough to do. The ones before me understand what that's like, understand what that entails, understand the sacrifices, understand the time and energy it takes to be great. Guys like AI, Oscar, Magic, the list can go on. 

"I'm super grateful, especially for Oscar, because he paved the way for guys like myself. He endured different things back in the time when he was playing, where he was able to do that and still be effective on the floor. He changed the game for guys like myself, guys that are in this league today. To be able to pass him... I just want to thank him, because without him and the things he was able to do for the game, I probably wouldn't be doing some of the things I'm able to do now, without his sacrifice and the things he did for the game as well."

Breaking a career record in the NBA is an accomplishment, but breaking one that's stood for over 50 years is special. Westbrook got tributes of love and respect from NBA players both past and present, but he said it's especially meaningful for him to be mentioned in the same breath as legends like Jason Kidd, Robertson, and Magic. 

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Westbrook thanked his wife, his children, and his family for making sacrifices and helping him succeed, and he thanked his teammates for their support. But he saved a special thank you for the point guards of the past.

"I'm so grateful for the ones before me, and so blessed and thankful for the men who allowed me to go out and do what I do," Westbrook said. 

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 10: Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards reacts during a game between the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on May 10, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook thanked Oscar Robertson and the great point guards of the past for paving the way for him. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images)

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