Russell Westbrook for All-NBA 2020-21

In his 13th NBA season, Russell Westbrook is putting up some of the best numbers of his career and leading a late-season Wizards’ resurgence that has taken Washington from 15 games below .500 to the NBA Play-In Tournament. The former MVP averaged the most rebounds (11.5) and assists (11.7) of his career, averaged a triple-double for the fourth time in the last five years and just locked up his third assist title. Ask around the organization, however, and any teammate, coach or staffer will tell you that Westbrook’s biggest impact has come in the locker room rather than the stat sheet. Acquired by Washington just weeks before the start of the season, Westbrook has been a tone-setter for the team on and off the court, a leader for the Wizards’ young core and a superstar running mate for fellow All-NBA candidate Bradley Beal.

BY THE NUMBERS

SEASON STATS: 22.2 PPG | 11.5 RPG | 11.7 APG

  • His 38 triple-doubles are the second-most in a single-season in his career and the third-most in league history. He became the NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles with the 182nd of his career on May 10 at Atlanta.
  • Finished with his fourth career season averaging a triple-double and now has four of the five such seasons all-time. He became just the second player all time to average at least 11.0 rebounds and 11.0 assists per game in a season.
  • With 38 triple-doubles in 65 games, Westbrook finished with his highest “triple-double rate” at 58.5%, the highest percentage of his career and the highest in league history.
  • Led the league in total assists (763), over 100 more than the next-closest player. His 11.7 assists per game average is a career and franchise high.
  • Averaged a career-high 11.5 rebounds per game, the sixth most in the league and most by a guard in 2020-21 and in franchise history.
  • Had 14 triple-doubles in the month of April, a league record.
  • Totaled 50 games with at least 10 assists, the most in the league and the second most in franchise history. Westbrook also has 14 games with 15-plus assists and a franchise-record three with 20-plus, including a franchise-record-tying and career-high-tying 24 on May 3 vs. Indiana.
  • Recorded 14 points, 21 rebounds and 24 assists on May 3 at Indiana, just the third 20-plus rebound and 20-plus assist game in league history and the second of his career.
  • Had a league-high streak of seven-straight games with at least 15 assists May 3-14, the longest streak in the league since John Stockton in 1989.
  • The Wizards finished with a 23-15 record when Westbrook records a triple-double.

IN QUOTES

Russell Westbrook: “I take pride, like I say every single night, in leaving it all on the floor. I honestly believe there is no player like myself. If people want to take it for granted, sorry for them. I’m pretty sure if everybody could do it, they would do it. I honestly make sure I impact the game in many ways every night, defending rebounding, passing, assisting, whatever it is that my team needs from me to be able to win. That’s what I do. I don’t care what anybody thinks about it. I don’t care if somebody thinks it’s whatever they want to call it, stat-padding or not useful. I think it’s very interesting that it’s not useful now that I’m doing it…This (expletive) ain’t easy though. I take a lot of pride in my preparation. I take a lot of pride in taking care of my body. I take a lot of pride in competing every night. I don’t take nights off. I don’t cheat the game. So with that, I’m OK with the results of going out and competing and if it’s a triple-double, then (expletive), why not? That’s my motto – why not?”

Scott Brooks: “He just has determination and grit. He has the mindset and work ethic of a reserve, a guy trying to make the team. A lot of the great ones…they all have that greatness in them. Sometimes you ask yourself, ‘Why do you they come back and work so hard? They can get 25 (points) and 15 rebounds any given night. They have that mentality. That’s what makes them great…(Westbrook) has it. I’m proud of him. I love coaching him.”

Scott Brooks: “When you have good leadership, it drives the culture, drives the mentality of what you bring as a group. With Rui and Deni and some of our other young players, it’s important that they see that. Teams that have a bunch of veterans are not always the best team, but teams that have a bunch of good veterans along with really good players are helpful for young players…It helps having Russell and Brad.”

Bradley Beal: “My approach to the game, my mental, just being locked in, being one of the best players on the floor at all times and channeling that mindset. I definitely credit (Westbrook) for that. To be able to witness him – I mean, he’s an MVP. I say it all the time: whenever he’s talking, I’m listening. If he’s giving advice, I’m listening. Because that’s what I want to be one day.”

Robin Lopez: “Russ is a lot of fun – he’s such a fun guy to be around. I don’t think he gets enough credit for being as cerebral as he is on the floor. Using the bigs as an example – playing with three different bigs and knowing how to utilize us to the best of our abilities. Russ is setting up those pieces on the chess board. That’s something that has truly impressed me.”

REQUIRED READING

How Russell Westbrook became the NBA’s triple-double king (The Washington Post)

The Wizards suddenly matter, and no one deserves more credit than Russell Westbrook (The Washington Post)

Russell Westbrook’s ‘seek-and-destroy’ mentality fuels his competitiveness and tenacity (The Athletic)

Russell Westbrook Makes Triple-Doubles Look Easy. They’re Not. (The New York Times)

Russell Westbrook joins the Big O’s elite company: Magic Johnson, others explain to us why ‘very few can do it’ (The Athletic)

By the numbers: Beal, Westbrook score big in win over Jazz (WashingtonWizards.com)

By the numbers: Westbrook's 182 triple-doubles (WashingtonWizards.com)

Triple-Double #182: Westbrook's rise to the NBA record (WashingtonWizards.com)

Westbrook surprises D.C. students with shoes, backpacks (WashingtonWizards.com)

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