Russell Westbrook is now the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season in multiple years. After his 2017 MVP campaign where he matched Oscar Robertson’s feat, he somewhat quietly did the exact same thing in 2018. Westbrook took what used to be impossible, and turned it into ordinary basketball stats that we are used to seeing. That’s the power of Westbrook.
Westbrook needed 34 rebounds in his final two games to get his rebound average up enough to record a triple-double for the year. Something that should be quite hard for any player, but especially a guard. But Westbrook pulled it off because:
1. He is Westbrook
2. He got a little help from his friends.
There were plenty of rebounds that Westbrook simply got on his own. Some that he may have taken from a teammate. And some where his teammates flat out let him have it on purpose.
Here is Carmelo Anthony clearing out space for Westbrook
And Steven Adams pulling away so Westbrook could grab this board.
The good thing is, Westbrook’s teammates don’t have a problem how it plays out
It seems like more a joke than anything when Anthony mentions the stealing. He knows that as long as they get the rebound as a team, nothing else matters.
Carmelo Anthony on Russell Westbrook’s rebounding, if he “steals” rebounds and if the team cares or not: pic.twitter.com/rtkbAmQjaI— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 10, 2018
“He steals. He steals.
We got a defensive rebound. I don’t think nobody thinks twice about that. As long as we get the rebound, I don’t think we worry about that. Individually, we’re not like, ‘Damn, I got to get this rebound. I got to rebound more.’ As long as we get the rebound, we all cool with that.”
But Westbrook doesn’t think it’s stealing. He just says he plays harder than anyone else.
While his teammate may think they’re letting him have the rebounds, Westbrook just thinks he’s moving faster than everyone else. Which is honestly pretty hard to deny.
Russell Westbrook went off a bit on the idea he stat-pads rebounds: “If you don’t want it, I’m gonna get it. Simple as that.” pic.twitter.com/z7BstM154p— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 11, 2018
“A lot people make jokes about, you know, stat padding or going to get rebounds. If people could get 20 rebounds every night, they would. If people could get 15 rebounds, they would. People that’s talking or saying whatever they need to say, they should try doing it and see how hard it is.
Everybody wants to be talking, I’m tired of hearing the same old rebound this, stealing rebounds, all this. I take pride in what I do. I come out and play, and I get the ball faster than somebody else gets to it. That’s what it is. If you don’t want it, I’m gonna get it. Simple as that.”
I enjoy Westbrook owning the fact that he wants all the rebounds, and he’s going to take it from you if you’re not fast enough, teammate or not.
Either way though, it was really fun to watch Westbrook go as hard as he could in the final two games, grabbing a ridiculous 34 rebounds between the two. Can Westbrook go another season averaging a triple-double and make it three in a row? I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out. But it doesn’t seem like he’s slowing down anytime soon.