Oscar Robertson had owned the NBA record for most career triple-doubles since 1961-62.
Now, it belongs to Russell Westbrook.
It had become an afterthought of when, not if, Westbrook would surpass Robertson this season with his triple-double tear. But the NBA world will celebrate Westbrook's triple-double greatness because milestones like these just don't change hands often. The last time an NBA all-time record was broken was when Ray Allen passed Reggie Miller on the all-time list for 3-pointers made in 2011. That was a decade ago!
Only two men have ever recorded 180 or more triple-doubles. The legendary Magic Johnson never got past 138, Jason Kidd retired at 107, and LeBron James is the next active player with the most triple-doubles, at 99. --Ohm Youngmisuk
The rebound that gave Russell Westbrook his record-breaking 182nd triple-double 🙌 pic.twitter.com/8GOr9vOZSx— ESPN (@espn) May 11, 2021
Russell Westbrook recorded his 182nd career triple-double Monday night, which passes Oscar Robertson for the most in NBA history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2021
It is Westbrook's 5th career triple-double vs the Hawks. He now has at least 5 triple-doubles against 23 of the 30 NBA franchises pic.twitter.com/YkV3mFaCmK
Russell Westbrook has 5+ triple-doubles vs 23 teams, by far the most in NBA history. Only two others have done it against 10+ opponents: Magic Johnson (13) & Jason Kidd (12) h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/h7Qr0oEvdd— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2021
Westbrook's path to breaking Robertson's record
Triple-double No. 1: The first triple-double of Westbrook's NBA career came on March 2, 2009, with the Oklahoma City Thunder -- the only one of his rookie season.
Year 1 without Kevin Durant (2016-17): Westbrook recorded 42 triple-doubles to break the Big O's single-season record set over 50 years prior.
The following year: In a visit to Atlanta, Westbrook joined Robertson, Johnson and Kidd as the only players with 100 career triple-doubles.
2019: Westbrook set the NBA record with 11 consecutive triple-doubles. Three of the four longest such streaks in league history belong to him. Later that year, as a Houston Rocket, Westbrook's 28 points, 13 boards and 10 dimes moved him ahead of Johnson on the NBA's all-time triple-double list.
Now? Westbrook has since gone on to become the Wizards' all-time triple-double leader.
Carving his name into NBA history
In the same game during which he set the overall triple-double record, Westbrook also joined LeBron James, Oscar Robertson and Gary Payton as the only players in NBA history with 20,000-plus points and 8,000-plus assists.
Westbrook has a triple-double against all 30 teams not just once but multiple times. While he has never had a quadruple-double in his career, he has recorded a triple-double and at least 10 turnovers in a game five times. That is the most such games since individual turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78.
Over his career, only Westbrook and James rank within the top 10 in points, rebounds and assists. Since his rookie season in 2008-09, his 182 triple-doubles are more than double James' second-place total over that span. Westbrook led all players on both teams in points, rebounds and assists outright 41 times in his career; that is the most such games in NBA history, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.
Westbrook has recorded his fourth season with 700 rebounds and 700 assists, passing Robertson for the most in NBA history.
Westbrook will finish as the league leader in triple-doubles for the sixth time in his career, matching Robertson for the third-most such seasons in NBA history. Only Kidd (11) and Johnson (10) have more such seasons.
ESPN's Stats & Information contributed to this story.