Russell Westbrook made history on Monday with 8:30 left in the fourth quarter versus the Atlanta Hawks when he collected his 182nd triple-double and broke Oscar Robertson’s record for most career triple-doubles.
Westbrook passed Robertson when the Wizards’ point guard grabbed his 10th rebound in the fourth quarter at State Farm Arena. That gave him 21 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds at that time.
Robertson set the record of 181 triple-doubles on March 24, 1974, and had been the all-time leader in the category since the 1961-62 campaign. Robertson’s record stood until Monday as Westbrook continued his triple-double assault.
Shortly after Westbrook became the new triple-double king, the Wizards posted a video featuring congratulatory messages from the game’s greatest triple-double threats.
“I’m very happy for you,” Robertson said to lead off the video. “Your family is very proud of you. And I salute you for all your accomplishments in the game of basketball.”
Magic Johnson, who is third all-time in triple-doubles with 138, said: “Congratulations on passing Oscar Robertson and becoming the NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles!”
Current Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd referred to Westbrook as “Mr. Triple-Double.”
“What a feat,” said Kidd, who is fourth all-time with 107 triple-doubles. “Incredible. You left me a long time ago. But you are going to go down as Mr. Triple-Double.”
LeBron James, who has 99 career triple-doubles, paid his respect to Westbrook.
“It’s [an] incredible feat,” James said. “Someone had to do it. Why not you? Impressive bro. Impressive.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated: “It speaks to your relentless work ethic and the all-around skill and passion that you bring to the game every single night.”
Westbrook sparked a furious comeback versus the Hawks that fell just short as he missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the waning seconds of a 125-124 loss.
“You put so much time, sacrifice so much for the game and to be able to be mentioned with guys like Oscar and Magic, Jason Kidd and those guys is just something I never would have dreamt about as a young kid growing up in LA,” the Wizards point guard said after the game. “I’m truly grateful for moments like this. Normally, I don’t like to pat myself on the back but tonight I will.”
Westbrook tied Robertson on Saturday when he had 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists in an overtime victory over the Indiana Pacers. He sealed that game with clutch free throws and a block.
The last time an all-time NBA record was broken was when Ray Allen passed Reggie Miller on the all-time 3-pointers made list in 2011.