LOS ANGELES: Russell Westbrook, a singular force of nature in his historic 2016-17 campaign, now must find a way to thrive as a part of the re-balanced ecosystem of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Stung by a Western Conference finals exit in June of 2016 — quickly followed by teammate Kevin Durant’s defection to the team that ousted the Thunder, the Golden State Warriors — Oklahoma City point guard Westbrook responded with a season for the ages.
He averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists, joining Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double over an entire season.
With 42 triple-doubles, he broke Robertson’s 55-year-old season record in a display of remarkable all-around excellence, the pinnacle achievement that double-digit totals in three of five key statistical categories has come to represent.
The six-time all-star won his second scoring crown and scored 40 or more points in 18 games on his way to NBA Most Valuable Player honors.