Given what we know now about all the attention Russell Westbrook's triple-double quest has received this year, this story becomes even more remarkable in retrospect.
Oscar Robertson, the man whose records Westbrook is breaking this season, is getting much more attention this year as the old record-holder than he ever did as the man setting all these marks.
Of course, the first reason is because of the media coverage. These days, there are no shortage of outlets to tout Westbrook's season to the masses.
Back then, Robertson had newspapers and ... that's about it.
The other - and actually more significant - reason to the lack of attention Robertson received for the mark was even more simple. He had no idea he was even doing anything special.
Triple-doubles weren't a thing in 1961-62 when Robertson notched 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game for the Cincinnati Royals.
In 2012, the 50th anniversary of Robertson's amazing season, the Hall of Famer told the Cincinnati Enquirer that there was no celebration because there was nothing to celebrate.
“Not at all,” Robertson said about celebrating or even acknowledging the history. “I didn’t know anything about it forever, to be honest. I was just part of some history, I guess.”
The term "triple-double" didn't exist back then, and it wasn't until players like Grant Hill and Jason Kidd (and rappers like Ice Cube) came along that the term "triple-double" found its way into the basketball fan lexicon.
Now, Robertson is joining in on the praise for Westbrook. "The Big O" wrote a piece for ESPN's The Undefeated where he congratulates the Thunder star.
“I admire Westbrook’s all-around command of the game,” Robertson writes. “He is a marvelous athlete who plays with intensity and flair and is exciting to watch. His performance this season is impressive. He would have been great in any era.”
In the piece, Robertson also points out that, yes, triple-doubles are a lot more common these days and did present a few questions that could be seen as poking holes in all the hoopla.
"Does that mean there are more all-around players today? Or that today’s more wide-open game creates more opportunities for scoring, rebounding and assists? Or that the criteria for assists are no longer as stringent? Whatever the reasons, there’s little doubt that the triple-double is much more in the spotlight."
It's a fascinating read, and you should have a look.
But all and all, game recognizes game.News Now - Sport News