Russell Westbrook finally did it. Last week after notching his sixth assist against the Phoenix Suns, Westbrook is the first player in NBA history since Oscar Robertson to average a triple double during the regular season with averages of 31.9 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists with only one game left in the season. The next game against the Denver Nuggets he made NBA history once again by becoming the player with the most triple-doubles in the regular season with 42. With such a historical year, coupled with the fact that he is also going to win the NBA Scoring Title for the second time, Russell Westbrook should be the 2016-17 NBA Most Valuable Player.
Westbrook's biggest competition this season for the NBA MVP award is former Thunder teammate James Harden. Harden has an impressive resume himself with averages of 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 9.1 rebounds along with helping his Houston Rockets becoming a serious threat to both the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs to represent the Western Conference in the NBA finals. The other major threat to Westbrook's case for MVP is Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. The four-time MVP is having one of the best years of his storied career with averages of 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.7 assists and being the key piece to his Cavaliers making it back to the NBA finals for the third year in a row. Despite James' and Harden's outstanding seasons, Russell Westbrook is still the MVP for the 2016-17 NBA regular season.
Besides the fact that he has averaged a triple double for the entire year and made NBA history along the way, Westbrook is vital to Oklahoma City being able to thrive in a tightly competitive Western Conference. When Kevin Durant left for the Golden State Warriors, many thought that Westbrook would want out of Oklahoma City; to head to greener pastures in his hometown of Los Angeles. Instead, he signed a three-year $85.7 million contract extension, silencing all doubt that he would leave the Thunder. After signing his extension Westbrook has played like a man possessed the entire season, leading the team in scoring. He has been the head of the snake the entire season and has played in 80 of the Thunder's 82 games this season, being the primary creator on offense by leading the team in assists. He was also towards the top of the team in rebounding as well, coupling with his ability to create plays by becoming a streaking beast on the fast break. Also, Westbrook has been notorious this season for making insane plays; such as in his latest game against the Denver Nuggets:
That shot won the game, solidify the historic triple-double and knocked the Denver Nuggets out of the playoffs. Without Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder would be dead in the water in Western Conference standings and would not make the NBA Playoffs.
Heading into the postseason Russell Westbrook has had an amazing season for the 2016-17 Oklahoma City Thunder. He has become the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double and is the sole owner of most triple-doubles in a season. This should be capped off with an MVP trophy added to his collection as well. Despite the fact that James Harden and LeBron James had great seasons, Russell Westbrook is the 2016-17 NBA MVP.