Russell Westbrook has bigger things to worry about than winning MVP.
His season has been nothing short of spectacular. Shoot, Westbrook is having arguably the greatest season in NBA history.
He has the Thunder in position for the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs after losing a top 5 player in the world. He’s making 2.3 threes a night and shooting 33.4 percent from deep, both career-high’s. He leads the league in scoring and still averages double-digit assists.
And then there’s the triple-doubles. 37 of them, so far, to be exact. Westbrook has had as many triple-doubles this season as he did his first eight combined. His numbers match Oscar Robertson’s 1961-62 season that saw Robertson get 41 triple-doubles in a quite different league. There were only 10 teams and the pace of play was almost twice as fast as today’s game.
Robertson is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double over an entire season. Westbrook is nine games away from accomplishing the same feat. Westbrook is averaging 31.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.4 assists, all career-high’s. He needs 52 rebounds (5.8 a game) and 62 assists (6.9) over the last nine games to join history with Robertson.
Off the floor, Westbrook recently opened his 10th Russell’s Reading Room, a project Westbrook is doing to help kids across Oklahoma City have books to read in schools. Westbrook and his wife, Nina, are expecting their first child in May. Little Westbrook will probably have a scholarship offer from UCLA when he is born; both his parents were Bruins’ basketball stars.
Westbrook is continuously involved in the community with his “Why Not?” foundation. From the “Why Not?” bowling events to Christmas and Thanksgiving events in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles, Westbrook’s work off the floor will accumulate to more than anything his on the floor accomplishments could.
But his floor accomplishments aren’t too shabby this season. He’s right in the thick of the MVP race with former teammate James Harden and superstars LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. He’s taken the Thunder, whom some counted out when Kevin Durant left, and has them in the thick of the playoff race. Westbrook has hit countless winning shots throughout the season. He’s scored 58 points one night, dished out 22 assists on another and annihilated backboards across the country. Furthermore, Westbrook is having one of the greatest seasons in history. So, why wouldn’t he win MVP.
Whether he wins it, it doesn’t matter to Westbrook. Westbrook wants to win and have fun. And he’s doing it. The Thunder clinched their eighth straight winning season after Westbrook’s game-winning shot Monday night. Additionally, the Thunder have a chance to win 50 games for the sixth time in Westbrook’s nine seasons. The three he didn’t get to 50 wins were his rookie season, the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season (47) and the season Thunder players had a plethora of injuries (45). Westbrook’s leadership ability is unseen in today’s NBA.
Few expected Westbrook and the Thunder to be in the position they are today. The Thunder still have a chance to get the fourth seed in the playoffs. But it doesn’t matter if Westbrook wins the award; he’s going to give 100 percent every night and have fun playing basketball. If he doesn’t win the MVP, he will continue to play every game like its his last until his jersey is hanging in the rafters. This season is already a success for Westbrook, MVP or not.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!