Russell Westbrook: Triple-double talk 'getting on my nerves'

ByTim MacMahon ESPN logo
Thursday, December 15, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY -- Russell Westbrook, theOklahoma City Thunder's historically prolific point guard, is sick and tired of hearing and talking about triple-doubles.

Westbrook failed to notch a triple-double for the third consecutive game in the Thunder's 109-89 loss Wednesday to the Utah Jazz, which qualifies as noteworthy due to his remarkable production so far this season.

"Honestly, man, people and this triple-double thing is kind of getting on my nerves," said Westbrook, who was 7-of-25 from the floor and committed five turnovers. "People think if I don't get it, it's like a big thing. When I do get it, it's a thing. If y'all just let me play. ... If I get it, I get it. If I don't, I don't. It is what it is. I really don't care. For the 100th time, I don't care."

Westbrook is on pace to join Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, and Westbrook recently had a streak of seven straight games with a triple-double, joining Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Robertson as the only players to ever accomplish that feat.

But Westbrook wanted nothing to do with the triple-double talk after his 27-point, 6-rebound, 5-assist outing in the lopsided loss to the Jazz.

"All I care about is winning, man, honestly," Westbrook said. "All the numbers s--- don't mean nothing to me."

Westbrook's numbers do appear to mean a lot to the Thunder, however.

Oklahoma City is 9-3 when Westbrook records a triple-double this season. The Thunder are 6-8 when he falls short of a triple-double, including back-to-back blowout losses to the Portland Trail Blazers and Jazz the past two nights. He had 20 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the loss in Portland on Tuesday night.

Westbrook has had fewer than six rebounds in a game, his total in both of the back-to-back losses, only once this season. The five assists he had against the Jazz matched his season low.

Westbrook, who is averaging 30.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game, brushed off a question about whether it was realistic to expect him to continue to put up an average statistical line not seen in the NBA since Robertson's 1961-62 season.

"I don't know what's realistic," Westbrook said. "I just go out and play every night, and that's it. I really don't care what people think is real or not. I just go out and compete, and that's it."

Thunder coach Billy Donovan pointed to his team's poor shooting (36.6 percent from the floor) and the Jazz's outstanding shooting (58.3 percent) as the primary reasons that Westbrook didn't approach a triple-double Wednesday night. Donovan downplayed concern about the Thunder, who were 18-0 when Westbrook posted a triple-double last season, being so dependent on the point guard's all-around production.

"He is going to be who he is," Donovan said. "I think the biggest thing we talk about with Russell all the time, and I think Russell really talks about this a lot, is just playing efficiently. ... He had a hard time getting a triple-double tonight because of the shooting percentage that Utah shot and the fact that we didn't shoot the ball well. So there goes the rebounds and assists right off the board there."

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