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Oscar Robertson calls Russell Westbrook the ‘triple-double king’

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USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick spoke with Oscar Robertson about the historic season Russell Westbrook is having.
USA TODAY Sports

Oscar Robertson had no firm plans for Wednesday night.

Sure, Russell Westbrook and his Oklahoma City Thunder were set to face the Memphis Grizzlies in a game that was wrought with Robertson-related historical implications. The Thunder star entered play with the chance to surpass Robertson on the list of most-ever triple-doubles in a single season (41), while also needing 16 assists to clinch a triple-double average for the entire season and thus join that one-man club “Big O” started back in 1962.

But Robertson, the 78-year-old Hall of Famer who still lives in Cincinnati, made his mind up about Westbrook a long time ago. He didn’t need to tune in to be reminded that Westbrook is every bit as good as his hype.

“Who are they playing tonight?” Robertson, who had no plans to watch, told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview. “Well I think he had the 41 (triple-doubles) already, and I hope he gets the 16 assists, and so you’ll be talking about Russ now being the triple double king.

“But he has taken over the whole country with what he is doing, and it’s really amazing. He’s a great basketball player…I’m happy for Russ. (With) all that has happened with his team, with (Kevin) Durant leaving (the Thunder and signing with Golden State last summer) and everyone writing them off, he’s brought them up to a spot (sixth in the Western Conference) where people want to see them play.”

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