Amid his twelfth season, Russell Westbrook continues to be criticized for his accomplishments on the court, but this is nothing new. Westbrook is more than likely to be a future hall of famer considering he has made eight trips to the all-star game, been a consistent MVP candidate and won it in 2016-17 season, led his team to a playoff seed in a competitive western conference the past 5 years including a finals trip in 2012, averaged a triple-double three seasons in a row, and yet people vision his “lack of success” as his most memorable accomplishment. Seasons ago when Westbrook made this triple-double normality in his career, viewers from all around the nation quickly forgot how uncommon achieving statistics like this truly are. 1961-1962 Oscar Robertson was the last player before Russell Westbrook to achieve such statistical greatness regarding triple-doubles and Robertson played in an era not nearly as challenging as Westbrook's yet he is still on pace to breaking Robertson's record despite his numerous challenges. His past few seasons in Oklahoma City Thunder is when this hate train truly began, Westbrook would constantly exceed everyone's statistics and considering they didn't result in wins all the time, viewers assume he's not playing the game right, making the analyst and media immediately blame him, when the blame should have been on the organization not being able to put any depth around him other than Paul George. Throughout history, a player like Westbrook has never been covered, so the only thing analysts choose to cover other than his rebounds which the media argues he steals, and his assist which they also somehow say he is selfish about, is his field goal percentage by saying it's inefficient. This year has been a rough transition for Westbrook as he went from OKC’s 11-year leader to as some might say “Harden’s sidekick,” which fully isn't true. Yes, Westbrook’s statistics have dropped from last year with them currently being 21.9 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, and 7.1 assists per game which is still more impressive than most in the league. This season with Hardens remarkable 39.5 points per game and Clint Capela's 15.5 rebounds per game is going to make a triple-double season for Westbrook difficult to grasp. I blame this hatred way of thinking on our currently offensive obsessed era which the NBA currently inhabits. Westbrook himself set this “new norm,” in the NBA and is the ideal player for these types of performances, although he is constantly negatively discussed. So you can look at his double-triple-double and his extraordinary career as “stat padding” or “stat stealing” but if you look at Westbrook on the hardcourt this is just his tenacious playing style where he puts his all on the court to help his team succeed and that has made him one of the best competitors of the past decade.
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