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Sounds of Thunder: Oklahoma City’s Championship Quest begins today

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and a man on a mission will lead them.

Westbrook acknowledges the crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena after securing his 16th rebound against Memphis and his 2nd triple-double season in a row. #whynot
Mark D Smith

Back to back triple-double seasons.

It’s shocking to think how little respect that phrase garners when just a year and a half ago the notion that a player could average a triple-double for even a single season, considering the modern NBA game, was considered impossible.

Now, for whatever reason, triple-doubles, even though they still represent a unique level of excellence, get little respect. To hear white noise pundits like Colin Cowherd tell it, they are nothing but low hanging fruit in an overburdened orchard.

However, what Cowherd and his ilk fail to tell their audience is that there is really only one tree in the orchard.

Note that among the four players trailing Westbrook, only one, Nikola Jokic, averaged a double-double for the season, which brings up another subject Colin Cowherd would rather avoid, double-doubles. Why? Because only Karl-Anthony Towns and Andre Drummond have posted more than Westbrook’s 59. When Westbrook posted 42 triple-doubles last season and broke Oscar Robertson’s 50-year-old record, he was also second in the league in double-doubles with 62.

Back to back triple-double seasons.

I won’t live long enough to see it, but I’m calling it on this day, April 15th, 2018. The day will come when Westbrook’s accomplishment will soar with other unbreakable records like Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hitting streak.

Last season, Westbrook took home the NBA’s MVP trophy. This year, he’s going after a much bigger prize, an NBA Championship ring.

Westbrook calls it a mission, I say it’s part of a quest, a long and arduous search that began the night Sam Presti drafted him in 2008 and continues today in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Utah Jazz.

Entering into the 8th playoff season of his career, Westbrook is no longer the green kid that pushed the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers to 6 games in 2010. Russell is ready to lead a team all the way and has been for 3 seasons. However, a question remains, even after 82 regular season games; does he have a team around him that can follow?

For this 2017/18 Oklahoma City Thunder team, today is the day of reckoning. There is no room for error or just getting by. It’s put up or shut up time.

A final word of advice to Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and the rest of the Thunder roster. Get on board, or get out-of-the-way. “The Quest” continues today and the “Russ Bus” is coming.

#WHYNOT