Russell Westbrook is the undisputed NBA triple-double king.
After locking up a triple-double average for the 2016-17 season on Friday, Westbrook came out looking to settle some unfinished business against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
Late in the fourth quarter, Westbrook recorded his 42nd triple-double of the year. That ridiculous milestone breaks Oscar Robertson's 1961-62 record for most triple-doubles in a season.
Calling Westbrook's pursuit of history "must-see TV" doesn't begin to do his basketball artistry justice. Watching the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard do his thing is one of the best experiences in all of sport.
In fact, Westbrook's historic season is a nice encapsulation of everything we love about the NBA.
Yes, Russell Westbrook's triple-doubles matter
I understand the argument against Westbrook's accomplishment. Some people think we're making too big a deal out of Westbrook surpassing some arbitrary milestone.
I have a simple question for those people: Do you watch sports?
Arbitrary milestones are what we do in this sphere, and Westbrook's achievement is among the greatest in any sport. The triple-double represents versatility and complete dominance of the competition. For such an indomitable player to set the record for most in a season is proof this wretched universe makes sense sometimes.
The rebounding numbers are a little inflated, true, but there's even a reason for that. The Thunder big men are excellent at boxing out. But they struggle at outlet passes, so Oklahoma City makes a conscious effort to get the ball into Westbrook's hands as quickly as possible.
Westbrook's rebounds add value for the Thunder. It's as simple as that. Oh, and by the way, he's the first player to average 30 points and 10 rebounds per game since Karl Malone in 1989-90.
Empty rebounds or not, that's ridiculous.
Westbrook gives his all every single night
We live in an era of rest and efficiency. Westbrook scoffs at both notions.
He simply wants to steal your soul on every possession of every game, from October to June (should he be so lucky). We should celebrate his ferocity to the same extent we bemoan LeBron's decision to sit out on the road and deprive a young fan the opportunity to see their basketball hero.
The 82-game NBA schedule is a blessing. It affords each superstar 82 opportunities for basketball immortality. And Westbrook is one of the few who stares that challenge in the face every night, cocks the ball back as far as possible, and prepares to throw down the most spiteful dunk you've ever seen in response.
Night in, night out, Westbrook gives everything he has. As FOX Sports' Joy Taylor wrote this week, he saved the regular season with his mania. The least we can do is appreciate his glory. It's sports at their best.
Westbrook's individual accomplishments help the Thunder win
It's not just that aforementioned rebounding scheme that's built around Westbrook's skills. This entire Oklahoma City franchise depends on its point guard.
That, too, is by design. Like Allen Iverson's Philadelphia 76ers, the Thunder put bigs who can rebound, set screens and dunk the ball off of dump-off passes around Westbrook — along with athletic wings who can catch the ball after the defense collapses and try to make something happen off the dribble.
The experiment hasn't been a complete success: Oklahoma City needs more shooters, for one. And Westbrook can freeze out his teammates when the game is on the line as well.
Yet his season and the Thunder's playoff push is the perfect representation of why we watch. The NBA is a superstar-driven league, where the best teams have the best players. Sometimes, all it takes is one larger-than-life force to drag an otherwise questionable roster to the postseason. No other sport can say the same.
And that's not the only unique aspect of the NBA highlighted by Westbrook's performance ...
Westbrook's record-breaking season is fueled by vengeance
Bar none, the NBA is the pettiest professional sports league on the planet.
I don't need to list examples. We all remember last year's Finals. What Westbrook is doing this year is a direct response to Kevin Durant abandoning him last year, even if the Thunder point guard would never admit it.
Revenge isn't a dish best served cold; revenge is a dish best served over and over again, until the object of your red-hot hate bursts at the seams from overindulging on vengeance.
KD's decision to flee for Golden State freed Westbrook to become a one-man army. But the way Durant left freed Westbrook to become a winged basketball angel of retribution.
So thanks for that, KD.
Westbrook gave us the perfect gift with this historic season
More than the dunks, the drama or the rings, we love the NBA for all the perpetual debate.
Westbrook ensured we'd have plenty of it this season by making history while James Harden had the most productive year ever and LeBron James continued to be the greatest player on the planet.
The perfect basketball storm gave rise to one of the best MVP arguments in recent memory. No matter the scores on a given night, we had something to talk about the next morning.
Truly, that's the best gift an NBA player can ever give us. Congratulations, Russell Westbrook. You're everything we love about the Association.