I wrote this article awhile back, about a week ago, throwing all kinds of numbers at you and saying Russell Westbrook is your MVP. While I believe his is the MVP of this season, with no slight to James Harden or anyone else, my reasoning has changed.
Russell Westbrook has done what I never thought was possible. He’s turned a triple-double double into a trivial number.
Many compared what Westbrook did to that of batting .400 in baseball or matching Cal Ripkin’s consecutive games played and so on and so on. This is completely a fair comparison in my book. It’s how Westbrook did it that deserves the accolades.
Oh Westbrook drops 47? No big deal. His 50-16-10 game. Child’s play. We’ve come to the point in Westbrook’s career where we’ve come to accept Westbrook normalizing his own statistics. It’s almost a slight against the MVP candidate if he doesn’t do somethings spectacular every night.
Westbrook’s season was really captured in the last couple of weeks. No, it wasn’t the play, though that’s some of it. It’s how he turned opposing venues into home arenas, rooting for the record books. Sure, teamas would love to see Westbrook catch that L and still get that record. It becamse something more to other teams, as we saw Phoenix fouling to avoid getting the record against them.
The kid from L.A. topped off his 42nd triple-double with his first career buzzer beater that sent the Nuggets to the NBA lottery.
Westbrook has turned himself into a once in a life time player that we’re coming to only really appreciate. In 5-10 years, we’re going to look back and marvel at what he could do with the ball. His ability to fly up the court, as if he was a cheetah, flying over the sahara and chasing down a gazelle in mid-stride. Instead of a gazelle, he’s pulverizing the rim.
All of this was done while trying to will the Thunder to win. Dropped by a former love and wilting away, it was Westbrook who came to save the day. His loyalty to the franchise renewed a community’s hope with a franchise. The clouds were pushed away and through that, we were able to enjoy Westbrook’s historic season.
We can avoid talk of a lot of numbers and how the NBA set another triple-double record for total in a season. Maybe they’re getting easier. Maybe Westbrook is setting such a lofty goal, players are aiming for them more. Even if Westbrook gets half of his 42, the NBA still sets a record but it’s probably not talked or put under the microscope as much.
Russell Westbrook is the Most Valuable Player as his season, round numbers and all, is historic and flat out defined an entire season.