- Russell Westbrook made NBA history on Wednesday, becoming the first player to average a triple-double in multiple seasons.
- To accomplish the feat, Westbrook needed to grab 34 rebounds in the final two games of the season – a tall order for a point guard.
- With the help of his teammates, Westbrook reached the mark, including a career-high 20 rebounds in the Thunder’s season finale against the Grizzlies.
Russell Westbrook made NBA history on Wednesday, securing 20 rebounds in the final game of the season to become the first player to ever average a triple-double in multiple seasons.
Coming into the final two games of the regular season, Westbrook needed 34 rebounds to make the mark – a tall order for a point guard. But after bringing down 18 boards against the Heat on Monday, it suddenly felt like Westbrook would accomplish the feat with ease.
On Wednesday night, Westbrook finished his historic run in almost record time – snagging the 16 remaining rebounds he needed before the end of the third quarter and finishing the game with a career-high 20. The high mark came in large part with the help of his teammates, who cleared out space below the basket before letting Westbrook gather up loose balls.
Bleacher Report cut together a video of every Westbrook rebound from Wednesday night, making it relatively clear that while many of his boards came from his effort to be in the right place at the right time, his absurd total was the product of a team effort.
Westbrook had called out critics of his stat-chasing before the game on Wednesday, arguing that grabbing 15 or 20 rebounds is a difficult task in the NBA regardless of circumstances. While he’s correct, videos like the one above won’t do much to quiet Westbrook’s doubters.
Still, Westbrook stood above the fray once he accomplished his goal, saying that he was merely happy to play the game.
“I’m very, very thankful and blessed to go out and compete,” Westbrook said. “Like I’ve said many, many times, I don’t take this game for granted, I don’t take going on the floor competing for granted, and God got something planned for me, man, nobody can stop it, and I always continue to follow his faith and stay faithful and stay strong and continue to do what I’m doing.”
The Thunder will take on the Utah Jazz in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, meaning Westbrook’s obsession with stats will likely give way to a greater focus on securing wins through the postseason.