Russell Westbrook's record can stand among greatest in all of sports

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Westbrook's record can stand among greatest in all of sports originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Some records in sports seem far less attainable than others. Some, as the sports themselves change, seem near impossible. Take, for instance, pretty much everything Wilt Chamberlain did during his NBA career.

Russell Westbrook's all-time triple-doubles record, which he set on Monday night by passing Oscar Robertson, can be considered one of the most exclusive. Just look at how long it lasted; 47 years, from 1974 all the way to 2021.

Time is a simple, but effective measurement when trying to compare records across sports. It might be the only way to draw parallels in an objective way.

NBC Sports Washington's play by play announcer Justin Kutcher illustrated that well in a tweet ahead of Westbrook making history. Look at how the 47 years between Robertson and Westbrook compare to some of the most prestigious records in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL):

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As you see there, Robertson held onto the mark for longer than some of the most famous home run records in baseball history. It was just nine years short of Lou Gehrig's consecutive games played record, which Cal Ripken Jr. broke in 1995.

One baseball record Kutcher didn't mention: Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak. That was set in 1941 and turns 80 in July.

Westbrook's record can certainly be considered among the most exclusive in the NBA. Chamberlain's single-game record of 100 points, set in March of 1962 (59 years ago) may stand above all as the least likely to ever be broken. Other famous basketball feats would include A.C. Green's 1,192 consecutive games played, Bill Russell's 11 championships as a player and Chamberlain's 50 points-per-game average in 1961-62.

Those are probably not going to be threatened for a long time and the same could be said about Westbrook's triple-doubles record, which he can continue adding to as his career moves on. Second and third on the active triple-doubles list are LeBron James (99) and James Harden (58), but they are likely too late in their careers to catch up to Westbrook.

Next up after that is Nikola Jokic, who has 56 at the age of 26, and Luka Doncic, who has 35 already at the age of 22. If anyone will have a chance someday, it could be Doncic. 

The odds of him reaching Westbrook, though, don't appear to be very high and it would probably take him a decade or so to even get close. Westbrook's record is likely safe, at least for a while. And the more that time passes, the more it will have a case as one of the most distinguished accomplishments in sports.