Oscar Robertson had a message for Russell Westbrook when they finally met

The final night of the 2016-17 NBA regular season started with a legendary meet-and-greet for Russell Westbrook.

Before Oklahoma City hosted the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, the Thunder point guard sat down with the only other player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a full season, Oscar Robertson:

The Big O congratulated Westbrook on his accomplishment and had a brief message for the MVP candidate:

Congratulations. I’m really happy for you,” Robertson said as the two met. He then demurred after Westbrook thanked him for paving the way. “It was a different era and time and things, but what you’re doing, I think, is historic. People see it, they love it … I think it’s great for basketball, and great for you and your family.”

Last month, Robertson told ESPN.com he’s rooting for Westbrook to win the MVP award this season and explained how he thinks the perception of the award has changed:

“I think it’s Westbrook. That’s what I really think,” Robertson said of his MVP pick. “Because years ago it was tough to win an MVP because it was based on winning championships — and [Bill] Russell with the Celtics. They dominated. But one year, Wilt [Chamberlain] averaged 50 points a game and 29 rebounds and me a triple-double, but Bill [Russell] won because his team advanced and we did not.

“It’s changed now. A lot of people understand what an MVP means. They understand basketball better than they did years ago.”

That’s quite a bit of support from an NBA legend who just watched a modern player match his triple-double average and break his record for most triple-doubles in a season. Kudos to the Big O on that front.

Once the pregame festivities started, Robertson’s support for Westbrook grew even louder:


The Thunder also rolled out a really cool pregame tribute for Westbrook (although the preview image is white, we promise the video plays):

Despite initial speculation he might rest, Westbrook suited up for the Thunder in their regular-sesaon finale. The game wasn’t completely meaningless; with 41 points, Westbrook would have topped Kevin Durant for the highest single-season scoring average in franchise history.

He finished with five points in just 18 minutes.