Magic Johnson lobbies for Russell Westbrook to receive more love and respect as the Wizards guard equals Oscar Robertson in triple-doubles.
Russell Westbrook is perhaps one of the most polarizing superstars to have graced NBA hardwood in recent history. Fans of the 2017 MVP such as Chris Vernon are enamored by his tenacity and drive to will his team to a victory in any way shape or form. This usually results in Westbrook filling up the stat sheet and notching his now iconic triple doubles in the process.
The other side of the spectrum, are individuals who go off advanced metrics and point out various inefficiencies in his game and poor shot selection. Instead of crediting him for having a triple double, they claim that he’s stat-padding in order to further bolster his own, personal repertoire.
Stephen A. Smith came under a lot of fire recently for essentially implying that Russell Westbrook and his triple doubles don’t matter as they have not resulted in meaningful wins in the postseason for his team. However, players across the league have shown an immense amount of admiration for the Wizards star and his continued greatness.
Magic Johnson sings Russell Westbrook’s praises amidst triple double run
In a game that came down to the wire, Russell Westbrook notched yet another monster triple double, equaling Oscar Robertson’s half-century long record of 181 triple doubles. In classic Russ fashion, not only did he notch a triple double, but he did so well beyond the usual 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
This game against the Pacers marked the first time in NBA history that a player had two consecutive 15 assist and 15 rebound games. Not to mention the fact that he had 34 points to go along with it in the 133-132 victory. Magic Johnson has clearly been impressed with how Westbrook’s season has been going as he spoke to David Aldridge about him.
“When we show highlights, it’s how many point somebody had, how far can they shoot out on the court. Russell Westbrook is neither one of those things.”
“He gets triple doubles but you don’t see them on highlights. We’re seeing guys get 5 or 60 or 8 three-pointers, but we don’t appreciate him.”
“The other night, I think it was 20 boards? People have played 13 or 15 years and they never get 20 rebounds. Same with assists. I know I got 24 a lot, but for him to get 24; there’s guards who’ve played who never got even 20 assists. Give him his love, give him his respect. This is really big. This is something I couldn’t do.”