On the night he tied the NBA's triple-double record, Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook paid tribute to the man who paved the way for him.
Speaking to reporters after recording his 181st career triple-double in a 133-132 win over the Indiana Pacers, Westbrook had this to say about Oscar Robertson:
"I take a lot of pride in doing everything I can to impact winning. To be in a conversation with Oscar, I just want to thank him because he set the stage. The things he was able to do back in the day has allowed me to do the things that I do today. So I'm appreciative of that, and I'm appreciative of his support as well."
Westbrook posted 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists for the Wizards on Saturday night. The former NBA MVP had already clinched a triple-double average for the season. This will be the fourth time in the past five seasons he will average a triple-double.
Prior to Westbrook's recent run, Robertson was the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double over the course of an entire season. He did it during the 1961-62 campaign as a member of the Cincinnati Royals.
There was a point early this season when it didn't seem like Westbrook would go back to being the triple-double machine he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He had a string of no triple-doubles in 12 of 13 games from Jan. 3-Feb. 14.
Since March 17, Westbrook has posted a triple-double 26 times in 30 games.
Just as relevant to the Wizards as Westbrook's stat line is how they have been playing down the stretch. They have won 13 of their last 16 games to climb up to ninth in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.