It's official: Russell Westbrook has set the record for most triple-doubles in a single season with 42 versatile displays, surpassing Oscar Robertson's long-standing mark. History was rewritten a game after Westbrook was guaranteed to average double figures in three satistical categories for the 2016-2017 NBA season, being the second player to do so after—you guessed it—Robertson.
Not only that, the Oklahoma City Thunder alpha pulled off the feat in spectacular fashion against the Denver Nuggets, on top of 50 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists including a buzzer-beating three-point shot that won the game, 106-105.
Only one question remains: Will all of these stats and records be enough to merit Westbrook strong consideration for the Most Valuable Player award? This year's race is as tight as it gets, with Russ's closest rivals for the trophy out there in the West.
Houston Rockets' James Harden is basically Westbrook Lite in terms of triple-doubles (21), only with more team success (54-26); Kawhi Leonard is desensitizing the San Antonio faithful of Tim Duncan's departure and Tony Parker's decline.
Westbrook's former teammate, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, was also been in the running for the league's best player before going down late in the season.
In the Eastern Conference, LeBron James's value to the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers is sorely magnified whenever he doesn't play, while Isaiah Thomas has made that top seed possible for the Boston Celtics.
Meanwhile, despite Westbrook's all-around brilliance, he is still being criticized for stat-padding and shot-chucking. People tend to forget that this OKC squad was deserted by its best player and had to work with unproven pieces, but has been willed to the playoffs by his one-man show—32-9 every time Russ registers a triple double.
When all is said and done this regular season, the MVP award will boil down to how each judge defines a Most Valuable Player. Westbrook will have one thing going for him, though, and that is history. At the end of the day, his masterful 82-game run will be hard to ignore.