Russell Westbrook has been on an absolute tear. He's more than rallied after a slow start to the season, and broke a longstanding NBA record in the Washington Wizards' 146-143 loss to the San Antonio Spurs: Wilt Chamberlain's record for triple-doubles in a single month, which has stood since 1968.
Chamberlain set the record with 11, but now Westbrook has 12. The Wizards have two more games scheduled in April, so that number could keep climbing.
Westbrook isn't feeling the love, though. He feels like his triple-doubles aren't being respected, and that his talent is being taken for granted by fans and the media. How do we know he feels that way? Because the brutally honest Westbrook laid it all out for the media on Monday night.
"I honestly believe there is no player like myself and if people want to take it for granted, sorry for them," Westbrook said via NBC Sports. "I’m pretty sure if everybody could do it, they would do it. I honestly make sure I impact the game in many ways every night; defending, rebounding, passing, assisting, whatever it is my team needs from me to be able to win. That’s what I do. I really don’t, honestly, I don’t care what people think about it.
"I don’t care what anybody thinks of this whatever they want to call it ‘stat-padding’ or ‘not useful.’ I think it’s very interesting that it’s not useful when I’m doing it. It wasn’t useful when Magic [Johnson] and Oscar [Robertson] and those guys were doing it. Now that I do it and it looks easy, this s*** ain’t easy, though. I’ll tell you that. It ain’t easy.
"I take a lot of pride in my preparation. I take a lot of pride in taking care of my body. I take a lot of pride in competing every night. I don't take nights off, I don't cheat the game. So with that, I'm OK with the results of going out and competing, and if it's a triple-double, then, s***, why not? That's my motto, why not. Continue to keep going."
Westbrook could break big triple-double record
Westbrook definitely notices when he's not getting the respect he deserves, but as he said, he doesn't care. He just keeps on helping the Wizards win and racking up triple-doubles. He now holds the single-month record for triple-doubles, and he already held the single-season record with 42 (which he set during the 2016-17 season).
What's left? The all-time career record for triple-doubles. Currently, that's held by Oscar Robertson, who set the record in 1974 with 181. But Westbrook's final triple-double on Monday night was the 175th of his career — just six away from tying Robertson and seven from owning the record outright.
The Wizards have 11 games left this season. At the rate Westbrook is going, there's a very real possibility he could tie or beat that record before the regular season ends. If not, he'll definitely do it next season. Westbrook is just 32 and shows no sign of slowing down.
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