Russell Westbrook Season Review: Twice in a lifetime

Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /
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It was the best of Russ, it was the worst of Russ, and it was all incredible.

Have you been on a plane lately? Did you have a good time? Probably not. Man, I bet your knees hurt from being crammed into those tiny seats. I bet you had to wait in the security line for, like, a third of a Marvel movie. Did they make you take your belt off? Was the flight attendant a little less than chipper? Maybe the bathroom in the plane was less than wonderful. Maybe your neighbor annoyed you a little.

For a few hours of your life, you were a bird. For a few hours, you were faster than (some) speeding bullets, more powerful than (any) locomotive, and you leapt countless tall buildings before the fasten-seatbelt light even turned off. You were Superman.

In hours, you reached a destination that people 100 years ago would have spent their entire lives reaching. Things the world used to call impossible were made mundane, and science fiction was your Tuesday.

Did you roll your eyes? Were the minor inconveniences of forces you could not even see sucking your airborne bus through the sky too much to bear?

Would you still take a fast plane over a slow boat next time?

The Impossible Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook is an airplane – better yet, a Concord – even better, a fully armed fighter jet. Only two years ago, the question, “Will anyone ever average a triple-double for an entire NBA season again?” would have earned only derisive laughter. In fact, it would have deserved only a scoff and an eye-roll. Imagine going back to the Nineteenth Century and asking someone if humans could fly.

I say!” they’d have said. “Your flights of fancy, while entertaining, are no more than a whimsy of ridiculosity.” They’d have been reasonable to say so.

The first human flight was in 1903. The first commercial flight – 1914. Jerry Seinfeld first asked, “what’s the deal with airplane food?” on SNL in 1992. That wasn’t the first critique of flight, but it’s safe to say it took, what, 70 years for the bloom to fall off that rose? Do you know how much time it took for people to get annoyed by Russell Westbrook’s triple-double average? Zero time.

25.4 points (7th in the NBA). 10.1 rebounds (10th). 10.3 assists (1st). 1.8 steals (5th).

Russ needs to work on some things, it’s true, and those things will be discussed. But before we do that, just take a moment to read that stat-line, and then another moment to read it again. Do your very best to not allow yourself to be numbed to the miraculous, ridiculous excellence of Russell Westbrook.

The Review:

He’s man-made flight. He’s electricity and lightbulbs. Cars. Cell phones. Friends. Family. Don’t take this for granted. It should not be happening, and we don’t deserve it. Russell Westbrook had an imperfect season, and he could have been better. But what he was… wow, it was still unbelievable.