Four years ago today, former Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook penned his name into the history books.
With 4:16 left to play against the Denver Nuggets, Westbrook set up Semaj Christon, who hit perhaps the biggest 3-pointer of his life.
The made shot credited Westbrook with his 10th assist, breaking Oscar Robertson’s 55-year old triple-double record.
Not only did Westbrook post his 42nd triple-double of the year, but he hit a triple himself to win the game at the buzzer, eliminating the Denver Nuggets from playoff contention.
The triple-double march spanned far beyond OKC, as the Nuggets fans could be heard chanting M-V-P for Westbrook, an occurrence which became the norm down the stretch run of the 2016-17 season in away venues.
Perhaps more impressive, Westbrook finished the season averaging a triple-double, a feat he would repeat in the following two seasons in Oklahoma City.
For his efforts, Westbrook was named the league MVP, becoming the second Thunder player to earn the honor.
Papering over the pain of Kevin Durant’s departure, Westbrook’s hunt for history kept the Oklahoma City Thunder firmly in the national spotlight every single night. Not only was the former UCLA man getting his in every game, time after time Westbrook turned up big down the stretch, powering the Thunder to wins on his back.
Even though his time with the Thunder has come to an end, Westbrook is approaching another landmark.
Already holding the record for the most triple-doubles in Washington Wizards history, Westbrook is now just 16 triple-double shy of Robertson’s career mark of 181.
Westbrook has averaged nearly 24 regular season triple-doubles per game since breaking Robertson’s single-season record, meaning the superstar could surpass Robertson by the All-Star break next season.
There is one year left on Westbrook’s deal, with a player option ahead of the 2022-23 season, meaning Westbrook will likely break the record in the nation’s capitol for the Wizards.