Oscar Robertson is rooting for Russell Westbrook


Russell Westbrook is in the midst of an incredible and historic season.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the start of the season, you know that.

On Friday night, Westbrook dropped 35 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists against the San Antonio Spurs in his 39th triple-double of the season.

Not only will he likely finish the season with a season-long triple-double, becoming the first player since NBA legend Oscar Robertson in 1961-1962 to accomplish the feat, but Westbrook’s 39 triple-doubles on the season ranks just two behind Robertson’s record of 41 that he set during that magical season.

Speaking to ESPN’s Andy Katz at the Final Four in Phoenix on Friday, Robertson told Katz that “I’m rooting for him” to break the record and that “I hope he does it.”

Therefore, we can add Robertson to the growing list of former NBA players who have expressed their appreciation for what Westbrook has been able to do on the court this year. His domination has been pretty hard to ignore.

"Big O" explained, "I always thought he was a great basketball player. I was talking to some basketball people the other night, and I said, 'I don't think any of these guards can beat him in a one-on-one game.' I think he's been tremendous for the team, his fans and also for television.”

If you recall, Robertson didn’t win the MVP during his triple-double season back in the early ‘60s and was edged out by Bill Russell for the prestigious honor. Since James Harden, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard will all likely receive some votes, there's a serious threat that Westbrook might not win this year's MVP honor. 

NCAA Men's Final Four - Practice

When asked who deserved this year’s MVP, Robertson responded, “I think it's Westbrook. That's what I really think. Because years ago it was tough to win an MVP because it was based on winning championships -- and [Bill] Russell with the Celtics. They dominated. But one year, Wilt [Chamberlain] averaged 50 points a game and 29 rebounds and me a triple-double, but Bill [Walton] won because his team advanced and we did not.”

Robertson went on, "It's changed now. A lot of people understand what an MVP means. They understand basketball better than they did years ago.”

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns

Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game in 1961-1962 for the Cincinnati Royals.

This year, Westbrook is putting up 31.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists per contest.

Despite the time difference, the similarities are evident between the two multi-faceted and well-rounded superstars, one representing the old school and the other representing the new school.

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