Russell Westbrook Has Similar Answer to Michael Jordan About Difficulty of Getting Triple-Doubles

Published 05/21/2021, 6:02 AM EDT
May 8, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) drives to the basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports


Russell Westbrook is a statistical marvel. During his career, Westbrook has defied expectations with the numbers he has put up. This season, he put up incredible numbers and made waves with his play. Westbrook recently just broke the record for most career triple-doubles. Given that Westbrook is only 32 years old right now, he still has a lot of time to further set this record to unreachable heights.

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Russell Westbrook has the same answer as Michael Jordan

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook spoke on Inside the NBA after his win over the Indiana Pacers. Westbrook had an incredible showing, putting up 18 points and 15 assists. The hosts asked him what he thought was the hardest part of getting a triple-double. Westbrook answered that he can’t control assists, because other players take the shots. Kenny Smith responded that Michael Jordan had a similar response.

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“The hardest part of getting a triple-double, what you can’t control, is assists. I can’t control if guys make shots. I can make it easy for them, but I can’t control if they score those shots. I can score on my own and I can rebound on my own, but I can’t control if guys make shot.”

Kenny: “That’s what he (Michael Jordan) said.”

Westbrook can’t control his teammates

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Westbrook’s answer comes as no surprise. After becoming the player with the most triple-doubles, he would know a thing or two about the stat. Assists are a great sign of a play-maker, but a lot of it depends on the player making the shot. Westbrook, among other playmakers, can put teammates in the best position to make the shot, but players need to ensure that the ball goes in. The dependence factor of an assist is why Jordan was always hesitant to share the ball.

May 8, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts as hitting the game winning free throw during an overtime period against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports
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Prior to the arrival of Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan was criticized for not sharing the ball with his teammates. As the best player on the team, Jordan felt a responsibility to take the most important shots. He was very hesitant about sharing the ball with his teammates. But when he got players like John Paxson and Steve Kerr, they allowed Jordan to place his faith in his teammates more. And that opened up Jordan’s statistical game to allow for more triple-doubles.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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