NBA community reacts to Westbrook's triple-double record
On Monday night against the Hawks, Russell Westbrook moved into first place on the NBA’s all-time triple-double list with the 182nd triple-double of his career, finishing with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 21 assists. For 47 years, Oscar Robertson sat atop the list, owning a record that most thought would never be broken. Congratulations from around the NBA community poured in immediately, celebrating the accomplishment and Westbrook’s career to this point.
The accolades began as soon as Westbrook secured his 10th rebound of the night early in the fourth quarter. The Wizards released a series of videos with messages from Robertson, Westbrook’s family, NBA legends, members of the Monumental Sports & Entertainment family and more.
After the game, Westbrook watched the videos from the locker room.
“That was pretty cool,” Westbrook said during his postgame media session. “I was smiling from ear to ear, especially seeing my mom. It’s rare that you can get my mom to say anything. To see her go and talk, I was pretty excited about. My family, my kids, my mom, my dad and then other videos of other players and historic players that played in this league and current players. I am very appreciative of those guys because they understand, guys that plays this game understand the intake that it takes on your body, your mental, your physical. I’m appreciative and thankful for all those messages.”
NBA greats like Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson, Rick Barry and more tweeted their support for Westbrook.
Just watched history being made!!! Congratulations @russwest44 on breaking a record NO ONE thought would be broken. Well deserved, keep it up killa! #MindBlowing #Unreal #Unbelievable #VideoGameNumbers #MrTripleDouble pic.twitter.com/t4QBKOQeWN— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) May 11, 2021
Gotta be honest, never thought I would see a player avg a triple double for a season in my lifetime. To do it 4 out of the last 5 seasons!!! . Now to be the ALL time leader. Iconic. All praise due!! #WHYNOT @russwest44— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) May 11, 2021
“It's a blessing, man,” Westbrook said of the praise from NBA legends. “To make it in this league is one thing, but to be in this league and consistently do great things and try to do great things is tough to do. The ones before me understand what that’s like, understand what that entails, understand the sacrifice, understand the time it takes to be great. Guys like (Iverson), Oscar, Magic, this list can go on – understanding and being grateful. Like I said the other day, I’m super grateful for – especially Oscar, because he paved the way for guys like myself. He endured different things back in the time when he was playing where he was able to do that and still be effective on the floor. And not just that, he changed the game for guys like myself. Guys that are in this league today. To be able to pass him, I just want to thank him, because without him and things he was able to do for the game, I probably wouldn’t be doing some of the things I’m able to do now without his sacrifice and things he did for the game as well.”
Westbrook’s backcourt partner, Bradley Beal, shared his support as well.
Mr. Triple Double !!! Congratulations big bro. It’s a pleasure to witness history!! First Ballot HOF @russwest44— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) May 11, 2021
While Westbrook broke the record wearing a Wizards’ uniform, he has spent most of the 13-year journey with the Thunder. Hawks point guard Trae Young, who grew up in Oklahoma and played across from Westbrook on Monday night, reflected on his memories of watching Westbrook as he grew up. Members of the Oklahoma City community, including former teammates, the team account and even the mayor chimed in with praise for Westbrook.
Trae, who grew up in Oklahoma watching Russ, on Russ breaking the triple-double record: pic.twitter.com/qdYVWALEi7— Kevin Chouinard (@KLChouinard) May 11, 2021
Congratulations from Oklahoma City to @russwest44 on becoming the all-time triple-double leader!— Mayor David Holt (@davidfholt) May 11, 2021
There’s been some debate whether it is still “Russell Westbrook Day”... Tonight, let’s just say that it is.
We love you, Russ!