Hero Baller: Russell Westbrook

“You want to have a good feeling, good taste in your mouth going into the break and then make sure you come back ready to play.”—Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook tremendously dominated with his 27th triple-double of the season Wednesday as the Oklahoma City Thunder trounced & demolished the New York Knicks, 116-105.

The man who averages 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists put up 38-14-12 on a pretty efficient night (.685 true shooting percentage; 6 turnovers), as his 32-25 Thunder now head into the All-Star break as the West No. 7 seed as they go into vacation mode now with eight days off before their next game.

Before All-Star Westbrook and his teammates go their separate ways at the break, please make sure to stand up right now, wherever you are, and give this man a round of applause.

It is not every day that you see a living legend put up a 30-10-10 stat line ala Mr. Westbrook.

In fact, Hall of Fame guard Oscar Robertson is the only NBA player ever to do so, with The Big O averaging 31-10-11 (1963-64), 31-13-11 (1961-62) and 31-10-10 (1960-61) at three different junctures of his career.

Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

“I love to see him out there doing what he is doing. I hope he can continue to do that throughout the rest of the season.”—Carmelo Anthony

What makes Westbrook’s statistical feat through 56 games even more impressive is that the perennial All-NBA guard has posted his 31-10-10 stat line average in only 35 minutes per game, while Robertson’s aforementioned three stat lines came in 45, 44 and 43 minutes, respectively.

Such was the case Wednesday when Westbrook stole the thunder away from newly-crowned All-Star (for the 10th time) Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 30 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Great game for anyone else, even a future Hall of Famer like Anthony.

But compared to Westbrook’s regular robust stat line nothing else measures up. Whether you are Melo or The Big O.

I mean, the OKC point guard–point guard, mind you–scored 38 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and doled out 12 assists–and did so in 38 minutes.

Before Wednesday, only three players in NBA history had posted stats as high in each category on the same night, and that trio needed more time than 38 minutes to get the job done: James Harden, 53-16-17 in 42 minutes (Dec. 31, 2016); Jason Kidd, 38-14-14 in 48 minutes (Dec. 7, 2006); Larry Bird, 49-14-12 in 54 minutes (March 15, 1992).

And if Westbrook puts up another triple-double in his next outing—Sunday’s 2017 NBA All-Star Game—he will again find himself in select company (Dwyane Wade, 24-10-10 in 2012; LeBron James, 29-12-10 in 2011; Michael Jordan, 14-11-11 in 1997).

It truly would be a rare, phenomenal feat.

But the thing about Westbrook, now that we know what the All-Star Game trip-dub record is, all of us honestly believe Westbrook soon will join that club too.

Player MIN +/- PTS (TSP) 2FG 3FG FT REB AST/TO STL & BLK
Russell Westbrook 38 +13 38 (.685) 10-17 3-5 9-13 14 12/6 3 & 1

 

Key: MIN minutes; +/- plus-minus; PTS points; TSP true shooting percentage; 2FG 2-point field goals and attempts; 3FG 3-point field goals and attempts; FT free throws and attempts; REB rebounds; AST/TO assists/turnovers; STL & BLK steals and blocks.