In every gym locker room, lunch table, and sports talk show, one question is debated to exhaustion. Who is the G.O.A.T. or the greatest of all time; Michael Jordan or LeBron James? While this debate will likely never be settled, if you were to ask a basketball fan from the sixties who the GOAT was they would unequivocally say, Wilt Chamberlain.
The Big Dipper – Who was Wilt Chamberlain?
Standing at 7 feet, 1 inch, Wilt Chamberlain was one of the best players ever to play the game. He dominated the paint like an artist, laying down ferocious dunks and blocking shots with a vengeance. According to the NBA encyclopedia In his 14-year career, he boasted an unmatched stat line. He is the only player to score 4000 points in a season. He is the only player in history to score 100 points in a single game. If that’s not enough proof, he also had the most consecutive 50 plus games at 118 and averaged over 50.4 points a game in the 1961-62 season. He also holds the record for most consecutive triple-doubles in a season, having a triple-double in nine straight games. That is, until now!
Russell Westbrook is quietly doing the impossible.
A triple-double is having over ten points, ten rebounds, and ten assists. In 1961, Oscar Robertson set an NBA record that no one ever thought would be broken. He averaged a triple-double for the season. In 2017 Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder did the same thing!
This accolade came on the heels of an offseason where he lost his All-Star teammate and friend Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors, a team who the Thunder had lost to in the playoffs the year before after being up in the series three games to one.
After the 2017 season, Westbrook was named MVP. Check out his MVP Mixtape below.
Not only did Westbrook do the impossible once, but he averaged a triple-double again last season as well, and he is on pace to do it again. On February 11, 2019, Westbrook put his name in the record books again by surpassing the great Wilt Chamberlain by scoring ten consecutive triple-doubles. The milestone came in a 120 – 111 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
In a post-game interview, he said
“It’s a blessing, man, to be able to go out and compete, I’m truly thankful. Thank you to the man above for blessing me and going out to be able to play the game I love. I have some unbelievable teammates that make my job very easy.”
Since Westbrook has been in the NBA, his slogan has been Why Not. It’s all over his twitter. He even has a why not shoe line from Nike. In 2017, he told USAToday the meaning behind this phrase. He said it came from high school friends. When he and his friends would do dumb things and things they were not supposed to do, the mantra was always why not. He told ESPN Magazine,
“Me and my real close friend thought, this is something that we can use – being kids growing up in the inner city, giving other kids a sense of confidence, a sense of swagger. I didn’t think I’d be playing in the NBA at the time, but just being able to give the next person, your brother, your friend, whoever it is, some confidence. Why not? Who told you can’t? That’s how it started, and now I’m using the mantra to keep impacting people across the world.”
Looking at what Westbrook has accomplished in his 11-year career one can see how this question has pushed him to do the impossible.
Is there something you want to do? Something that others say you can’t reach?
Why Not? Get after it.
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