Way back in 1962, the point guard for the Cincinnati Royals of the National Basketball Association did something that had never been done before or after—until now. Oscar Roberston averaged a triple-double statistical line for a full season, posting 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists each night out over 79 games.
For decades, that accomplishment has seemed unreal in an era of specialization, where few athletes bring a skill set to the table that enables them to meet such lofty statistical milestones.
Enter Russell Westbrook, the current point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. With two games left in the 2016-17 regular season, he has matched Robertson’s unreal accomplishment, posting 31.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg and 10.3 apg. In the modern NBA, this achievement simply is stunning.
Now, for the kicker: The Big O didn’t win the NBA MVP Award in 1962, and there’s a big chance Westbrook won’t win it this year, either.
How is that even possible? It’s like Ted Williams winning the Triple Crown twice and not winning the MVP in either season. You have to question the validity of modern metrics when Westbrook’s achievement ranks fifth on the “Win Shares” list this season—and Robertson’s ranked third in 1962, as well.
Sometimes, the numbers do lie, and the eyes tell us all the truth we need to know.