Russell Westbrook captured history on Monday night by breaking Oscar Robertson's all-time triple-doubles record, a mark that stood for 47 years until it was finally topped in front of a reduced capacity crowd in Atlanta, GA.
With a rebound in the 4th quarter against the Hawks, Westbrook recorded his 182nd career triple-double, moving him past Robertson for the most in NBA history. Robertson's record lasted from 1974 until Westbrook made it his own in 2021.
Westbrook finally passing Robertson took 12 years of collecting triple-doubles. His first was on March 2, 2009, back when he was a rookie and his Thunder were playing at home against the Mavericks. He had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Westbrook had only eight triple-doubles in his first six NBA seasons combined. He surpassed that with 11 in the 2015-16 season, then took off with a record-breaking 42 in 2016-17.
Monday's was the 36th triple-double of the season for Westbrook, who began picking up his pace in mid-March. In 31 games since March 17, Westbrook has 25 triple-doubles. He has eight in his last nine games.
As Westbrook began collecting triple-doubles at a faster pace in recent months, it became clear the record was not only a foregone conclusion, but a certainty to fall this season. He is averaging a triple-double for the fourth time in his career with 22.0 points per game and career-highs in both rebounds (11.6/g) and assists (11.5/g). His assists-per-game average leads the NBA.
Westbrook now owns all of the major NBA records for triple-doubles. He has the single-season record (42), the record for career triple-doubles in the regular season (182) as well as the most in the regular season and playoffs combined (192).
There was no one who could rack up triple-doubles like Robertson until Westbrook came along. The next guy on the all-time list is Magic Johnson, who had 138, and after that Jason Kidd, who had 107. LeBron James is second to Westbrook among active players and he has 99.
That invites questions of how long Westbrook's record will last and who will ultimately break it. Given no one in today's game is even close, it may be a while. Perhaps just like Robertson's record, Westbrook's will endure for decades.