The only player to ever average a triple-double for an entire season told NBA TV on Wednesday that he hopes the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard can join him in achieving basketball immortality.
Robertson’s 1961-62 season is still legendary decades later. In his second season in the NBA, the “Big O” averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game. It’s a mind-blowing feat few have even come close to until this season.
Westbrook—the all-everything for the Thunder—is currently averaging 31.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.3 assists this season.
On Tuesday, Westbrook had 43 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 109-106 win over the Jazz. At this point, Westbrook not averaging a triple-double for the season would be the result of a significant dip in performance. It takes remarkable consistency to put up numbers like that over 82 games. With just 22 games to play and the Thunder fighting for a playoff spot, there’s no question OKC will rely on Westbrook to keep putting up points and distributing like he has all season.
What’s notable here is that Robertson says he’s rooting for Westbrook to match or even break a mark that’s stood for more than 50 years. Unlike the 1972 Dolphins, who make a silly spectacle of celebrating their perfection, Robertson doesn’t appear to hope Westbrook comes up short.
“Why should I care, man?” Robertson asked on air. “I hope he does. I think it’s great to talk about.
In other words, Oscar Robertson is really great, and he doesn’t mind some company in his greatness. Good for him.